Sharing your story
We all tell stories, even if they’re as everyday as telling your friend about a trip you took down the town. At Sheffield Flourish we know that storytelling helps build relationships between tellers and listeners. We want to be open and honest about the realities people face when living with mental health conditions.
We hope to create a community of storytellers which is kind, interesting and creative. Sometimes the pieces we publish will be critical and challenging, but we will always aim to be constructive and respectful.
If you have a story to share, we want to hear it. Have a look below at how the process works, and get in touch if you need any support from us. We also have volunteers who can sit down with you and help you tell your story.
How it works
- Create your story. We welcome all formats: videos, audio, written, graphic stories, paintings, poetry and anything else you can think of.
- Send your story to [email protected] or you can submit your story directly through this website.
- If possible please include a photo of yourself, or of something that relates to the story, and let us know where you got the photo from.
- If the story you are submitting deals with sensitive or potentially upsetting issues please mark it with ‘trigger warning’ in the story upload tool, or let us know.
- Our volunteers edit all the stories we receive, and you’ll be contacted by one of our Editing Panel before we publish your story. We will contact you to confirm you’re happy with the changes.
For written pieces please aim for a maximum 600 words, unless you really need to write more.
Films, videos and audio pieces should ideally be 2 to 3 minutes long.
You are welcome to post anonymously.
Once your story is published we’ll share it on social media, in our online newsletter, and may also publish it on the Sheffield Mental Health Guide, so more people can read it.
Please be aware that occasionally we will be unable to publish your work. When this happens we will explain why. Reasons might be that the tone does not fit with Sheffield Flourish, e.g. we will not accept any violent, sexist, homophobic or bullying language or it may be that we have already covered the topic or story.
We welcome stories about the projects, enterprises and businesses you’re involved with, especially if they’re linked to your mental health journey. But please remember that this website isn’t for advertising and we reserve the right to edit or to not publish anything which seems designed to promote.
If you identify anyone by name, or who is easily identifiable from what you’ve written, you’ll need to get permission or use a pseudonym. Get in touch and we’ll send you a form. Similarly, we may have to be careful with stories written about organisations – any changes will be run by you.
Maintaining a safe space
It is ok to share thoughts and experiences around self harm and suicide but please avoid graphic descriptions or images, or detail about methods.
It is ok to share thoughts and experiences about food, eating and drinking but please do not include calories, measurements, amounts of food eaten, images of weight loss or detail about methods of gaining or losing weight. The Time to Change website has useful guidance on this.
*** Please note if you feel uncomfortable with any of the information that is shared, or have any reason for concern for yourself or for any of the people you have met contact a member of Sheffield Flourish immediately. ***