South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services to the people of Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, has joined Twitter to encourage local people to keep up to date with the Trust.
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages.
With its recent explosive growth (93% of Twitter’s growth has happened in 2009) Twitter represents an exciting new communications platform which can benefit the Trust in a number of ways.
By simply answering “What are you doing?” in 140 characters or less users can hear the latest news from the Trust who can strengthen existing bonds at the same time as making new ones.
These mini-blog posts, or “Tweets” as they are known, allow people to keep intouch via a real-time social messaging hub, making it possible to get breaking news out to the Trust’s audience.
While it was easy to be sceptical in the early days of Twitter, the reality is that Twitter now has millions of users, with growth of over 1500% year-over-year.
Its massive popularity enables the Trust to inform a wider audience and raise awareness of mental health issues both on a local and national scale.
Chief executive Steven Michael said, “Everyone’s talking about Twitter, especially young people, so it seemed like a great opportunity to try and further engage with local people. I hope it provides another opportunity for our communities to find out more about their local NHS and how they can have a say. We are committed to trying out a variety of ways to connect with local people and Twitter allows us to do this online.”
The Trust’s Twitter profile will be kept up to date with information for people who use services, their carers, staff, partner organisations and the general public, many of whom make up the Trust’s 14,000 members.
It certainly doesn’t replace other methods of Trust communication but it’s a quick and easy way to keep up with the latest Trust news.
Jude Corrigan, communications manager, who started the Trust tweeting, said, "We know local people are interested in their NHS mental health and learning disability services as 14,000 have joined us as a member. Because of its popularity and ease of use Twitter is another way for the Trust to keep in touch with people and gives them the latest news about their local NHS.
"The Trust’s name on Twitter ‘allofusinmind’ is taken from our strapline ‘with all of us in mind’ which local people who use our services have become familiar with. One in four of us will experience a mental health problem so our specialist NHS services really are for all of us. Twitter is another way for people to find out more about what is going on locally, as well as receive information on national stories that may be of interest.”
Anyone with a valid email address can join Twitter. If you’re already on Twitter look up the Trust’s profile ‘allofusinmind’, and encourage your friends to do the same.
Visit the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust page on Twitter at http://twitter.com/allofusinmind to find out the latest news.