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This fantastic event showcased the work that has been created as part of the DigitalMe initiative over the last few months. This DigitalMe project was funded by the VCSE Mental Health Alliance in Northumberland.

DigitalMe is a not-for-profit programme run by Digital Voice since 2017. Digital Voice is a community interest group based in Gateshead.

The programme gives typically underrepresented people a voice, empowering them to tell their stories and enact change within the services they use.

For this project, the Digital Voice team worked with Peer Support Workers at St George’s Hospital, Morpeth, to co-create digital artwork exploring their experiences of mental ill-health.

This group of Peer Support Workers have all been patients at St George’s Hospital after experiencing mental ill-health. They have since begun their recovery journey and are using their lived experiences to support current patients at the hospital, acting as a source of support and hope while also bridging the gap between patients, clinicians and carers.

The screening was hosted in the community room of St George’s Hospital, Morpeth, where the group of Peer Support Workers are based.

Julie Nicholson (She / Her), Managing Director at Digital Voice, explains:

“The DigitalMe programme offers a fun and creative way for people to process difficult experiences and emotions. It gives people an anonymous voice about an important issue while also being good for mental wellbeing.

Our participants were all empowered to create their own avatar to tell their story and produce emotive digital artwork.

People often find that it’s helpful to think about their story in a linear way, by writing it all down. We create a space for people to come together and talk with other people who just get it, because they’ve had similar experiences too.

The participants hope that they can use their own experiences in order to help other people get more support.”

The impact

The DigitalMe programme enables participants to tell their stories in a way that is empowering and uses lived experience of mental ill-health to help other people.

Telling these powerful stories also gives an insight into the way that mental health services are experienced in a way that drives change and innovation.

Tracy Bruce (She / Her), our  Head of Community and Wellbeing Services explains:

“At Everyturn Mental Health we all have the same purpose; we want people to feel mentally, emotionally, and physically well.

We know that it can sometimes be a challenge for organisations in Northumberland to deliver the work that they are passionate about due to limited resources and funding, it has been our privilege to support Digital Voice in developing such meaningful work.”

The Northumberland VCSE Alliance

The DigitalMe project is funded through the VCSE Mental Health Alliance as part of the community mental health transformation for Northumberland.

We’re proud to be the lead partner for the VCSE Mental Health Alliance and look forward to sharing more about the fantastic programmes being offered.

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