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Help make Mind’s media work representative

Mind’s Media Team work closely with people with mental health problems, helping them share their experiences, for example in newspapers and online, TV and radio. We are committed to working with a diverse range of media volunteers, but have historically underserved Black and Asian communities. We would like to do better and do more to support and represent Black, Asian and Mixed Race people.

Our online focus groups will give you the opportunity to use your lived experience to influence change. They will help us to better understand why and how we have underserved these groups, and what we can do to better engage with people from these ethnicities, to ensure we are representing the reality of mental health and all of us affected.

Take part in our online focus groups

Our online focus groups will be a discussion with a small group of people, sharing their opinions of the UK Media and Mind’s work.

We are hosting two groups; one for Black people (including Mixed Race people) and one for Asian people (including Mixed Race people). If you identify as being Mixed Black and Asian you are welcome to apply for both groups, provided that you are able to share different thoughts in each group. Please let us know how you would contribute to both, on the application form.

Each focus group session will last approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.

Asian communities

Date: Monday 26 April 2021
Time: 10-11.30am
Where: Online (Zoom)
Number of spaces: five to eight people

Black communities

Date: Monday 26 April 2021
Time: 12-1.30pm
Where: Online (Zoom)
Number of spaces: five to eight people

Apply now

If you would prefer to contribute to the project in another way, please fill in our survey.

To apply please complete and submit your application by 10am Wednesday 21 April 2021

If you cannot access this application form but would like to join the focus groups, please email [email protected] with the subject line ‘Media Focus Group Application’ and we will provide an alternate way to sign you up.

If you’re a current Mind media volunteer who would like to get share your thoughts, please email [email protected] with the subject line ‘Media Focus Group Application’, to get involved.

We really appreciate you wanting to take part and will do our best to recruit a variety of people from Black and Asian Communities so that the input we get covers as wide a range of experiences as possible.

To take part you'll need to:

  • be aged 18 or over
  • live in England or Wales
  • be from a Black or Asian community, or Mixed Race (with a Black or Asian background)
  • have personal experience of mental health problems
  • have no experience working with the Mind media team as a media volunteer (you can participate if you’ve reached out to be a media volunteer but decided against it)
  • feel able to be open about your experiences and feelings of the UK media, Mind and volunteering
  • be able to share your experiences in a way that feels safe to you
  • be respectful of others views and experiences
  • be willing to answer some questions on your personal experiences
  • feel able to talk with a small group of people
  • feel able to give feedback on the experience

When you fill out the application form, you can tell us how you meet this description, particularly the bullet points in italics. You may want to keep a copy of this page open so you can look at it when filling out the application form.

We will aim to get back to you the week commencing 19 April 2021 to let you know whether you have been selected.

We really appreciate your help and will pay you £25 for your time, skills and expertise.

It is your responsibility to find out how accepting payment may affect benefit entitlements and/or income tax payments, you should contact your local benefit office, Phone DWP and/or HMRC, read SCIE’s advice or contact Citizens Advice for advice before applying. You can accept part payments or not payment and still take part if doing so would affect you financially.

We understand that the focus group format will not work for everyone for a number of reasons. If this is the case for you but you’re keen to be involved, please fill in this application form and we’ll be in touch.

If you would prefer to contribute to the project in another way, please fill in our survey.

If you need adjustments to attend the focus groups please let us know on the relevant section of the application form and we will do what we can to support you.

Mind’s media team work with journalists to get the word out about Mind’s work, and raise awareness of important mental health issues and topics. As part of this, we work closely with people with lived experience of mental health problems to share their story in the media, such as in the newspaper, on TV or on the radio, to give a human voice to the issues.

We are committed to working with a diverse range of media volunteers, including people from different ethnic communities. However, we have historically underserved and underrepresented some ethnic groups, and particularly people from Black and Asian communities. Racism is a structural and ongoing issue that is present in our society. The events of the past year, including the pandemic and tragic deaths of George Floyd and others, have made us reflect on how racism manifests at Mind, and what we can do to create genuine and long lasting change. However, we know that racism has existed at Mind for a long time. Our current media volunteering offering and our historic association with White communities are some reasons why we have not been able to represent people from Black and Asian Communities in the media.

There are also external factors that might make people from Black and Asian communities not want to associate with us. These include racism in medical and mental health services, health inequalities and sparse and sometimes negative coverage about mental health issues in these communities in the UK Media.

We want to understand these issues in more detail, and what we can do to better engage with people from these backgrounds, to ensure we are representing the reality of mental health and everyone who is affected. To begin to address this, we are hosting two online focus groups in March, one for people from Black communities and for people from Asian communities.

The experiences and feelings you share will be looked at with other data to help us understand what we need to change about our media work to ensure that we engage better with people from Black and Asian Communities.

Any personal information that you share will be stored securely, and only Mind’s media team and our lived experience experts will have access to the data. Your personal information will not be used for any other purpose. We take your privacy seriously and promise to never sell your data. You can find out more about your rights, how we use your personal information and how we keep your details safe and secure by reading our privacy policy.

If you have questions that are not answered on this page please email [email protected]. We aim to get back to everyone as soon as possible but we are a small team and sometimes this can a few days.

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