SoMe is an activity that brings people together in conversation about a specific topic. For the Time to Change campaign, SoMe would be used to facilitate conversations aimed at challenging mental health stigma.
Take a look at Norfolk Champion Ally’s experience of organising a SoMe event.
How to run a SoMe activity to facilitate 1-1 conversations about mental health
- Champions create a profile (similar to a social media profile). This has some basic information to let people know their interests, such as where they come from, their favourite books, films and/or interests. It also includes a statement, in a maximum of 140 characters (like a Tweet), they have written sharing some of their experience of mental health problems, that they are willing to share.
- Set up a notice board/wall where people can stick up their "profiles"
- Visitors to the activity are invited look through the profiles and pick one out that they would like to chat to more. This means that conversations can start around shared interests, making subsequent discussions about mental health more comfortable.
- The Champion who wrote the profile and the visitor can then sit down and talk. The items written on the profile can be used to prompt and stimulate conversation
- Visitors can then go to another noticeboard/wall (The Message Board) and put up something they have learnt about mental health or how they would sum up the experience in 140 characters. This creates an ongoing live feed evaluation of the activity and attracts other visitors.
Planning and preparing your activity
Where will you do it?
SoMe events work best indoors and in places where there are lots of people around, for example in places of education, shopping centres or as part of a larger community event.
Number of Champions
There should be at least 3 or 4 profiles on display and it’s useful to have at least one additional person to explain the activity to the members of the public and help them find the Champion they have been matched with.
Promoting your activity
People are attracted by the display so there is no need to advertise in advance.
Materials you may need
You’ll need to print out the profiles and use blu tack or pins to put them up. You can use A4 pieces of paper and create the headings you'd like to use. You could also cut them out to be shaped as a Twitter bubble.
You will need somewhere to display profiles, a table and chairs for the chats. Some tea is always great too, if possible!
On the day
Make sure you print the SoMe materials in advance and get there an hour early to set up.
SoMe was created by The Outsiders CIC.