It’s important to think about how we can appeal to the right section of our audience. This includes writing for people looking for help, carers, professionals or the public.
Depending on what we’re writing, we emphasise different aspects of our voice (‘tones’) – so a ‘Contact us’ page sounds different to some advice on staying well – but they both still sound like us.
It’s important to think about who we are writing for before we begin. We’ve created a series of personas that represent some of the site’s different audiences and bring them to life.
They give us design targets by providing insight into users’ needs, questions and motivations. Personas also give us an idea about how people might start interacting with MindWell and go on a meaningful, successful journey.
Personas help us plan and create content for MindWell. They are a benchmark against which we can test assumptions about how the site works and the words we use.
Read a summary for each of our personas below.
Sam, volunteer support worker
Sam sees a host of different people of all ages. His clients are dealing with complex emotions, stress, sleeping problems, money worries and housing issues.
Sam needs MindWell to provide:
- signposting information from one place, so he can refer his clients to the most appropriate service, both wellbeing and practical support.
- a comprehensive range of self-help and self-care resources he can share with this clients
- regularly updated information so he can keep up with any new developments
Irene, caring for her parents
Irene hasn’t previously thought of herself as a carer. But with her father getting more frail she’s had to reduce her hours at work so she can spend more time supporting her parents. Life already felt busy enough with her (sometimes challenging) job, home life, and trying to spend time with her children who are both taking important exams.
Irene needs to:
- recognise/identify herself as a carer.
- know what support exists for her parents and how she can access it
- understand that the situation she finds herself in (caught between her own family and her parents) is common
- appreciate that she needs support too, otherwise her own mental health may be impacted
Bob, concerned about a friend
Despite having “been there, done that” Bob is at a loss to know how to speak to his friend. He can see his mate is struggling to readjust to life outside prison, and is using alcohol to deal with his depression. Bob needs a way in, an icebreaker to get the conversation started and to potentially share his story.
Bob needs to:
- realise there is support and information available to help him to support his friend
- access advice about how to start a conversation with his friend so he has the confidence to talk to him
- find information about support available for coping with depression and alcohol dependency, including peer support and counselling
Simone, feeling anxious
Simone normally feels very much in control of her life, but suddenly things which she normally takes in her stride are getting the better of her. She feels anxious about fitting everything in and has started to wake up early and worry. To help she’s bought a book on mindfulness and is looking for other help.
Simone needs to:
- recognise that MindWell offers a range of resources relevant to her needs
- feel welcomed by the site and reassured that what she’s feeling is “normal” and experienced by many people
- access a range of information and tools (including self-help) to manage her anxiety
Alisa, health professional – GP
Alisa is hugely aware of the mental health needs within her practice’s area and is constantly trying to increase her understanding of them in every which way she can. She’s been highly supportive of the idea of a mental health hub for Leeds from day one and can’t wait for it to be live.
Alisa needs to:
- be confident in MindWell as a credible source of information and be able to rely on it to provide up-to-date information each day at work
- use a comprehensive source of information (including new information and updates) and geo-specific opportunities for her patients.
- a card advertising MindWell to give to her patients, and posters to display in her surgery
Julia, human resources (HR) manager
FirstDirect has recently signed up to become a Mindful Employer and Julia is in charge of the team. She’s really keen to identify as many resources as possible which can be used to support any of the substantial Leeds-based team. The Mindful Employer team has recommended she should take a look at the new information site.
Julia needs to be:
- confident in understanding a range of mental health problems and how they might present at work
- plugged into different interventions and be able to discern which is appropriate for individuals needing support with their mental health
- able to find helpful tips and examples which make this real for her
Majid, someone in crisis
Intense academic pressure and social isolation have left Majid struggling to sleep, function, and study is out of the question. Now the news his visa may not be renewed and he may have to return to Pakistan without completing his PhD has pushed him to breaking point. He feels desperate and alone.
Majid needs to:
- find the strength to get support for his immediate situation; both emotional support for how he’s feeling right now and practical help with his visa
- accept how the various pressures he’s under have been affecting his mental health
- access counselling to support him and learn some self-help skills to help him manage
- access peer support to help reduce his feelings of isolation
Chelsea, needing support for depression
Despite her tough circumstances Chelsea is entrepreneurial, and desperately wants to go back to college and make something of her life. What’s holding her back is depression and anxiety. Since having her daughter she’s really struggled and knows she can’t start before she’s sought some help.
Chelsea needs to:
- access MindWell on her smartphone
- access appropriate support for her postnatal depression
- find support and encouragement to enable her to go to college, and continuing support while she is studying.
Tom, someone needing help
Tom’s emotional wellbeing has been affected by problems with his physical health. He has recently been through three lots of treatment. He can’t drive, walk more than a short distance and needs to sleep in the afternoon. Feeling old before his time has seriously knocked his confidence and he’s feeling really down.
Tom needs to:
- recognise that MindWell has a range of information and tools which can help him
- find the right support, advice and tools to help him recognise and manage his symptoms
- get access to peer support so that he can connect with people who are experiencing the same issues and feel less isolated
Harry, regular user of mental health services
Harry’s wife instinctively understood his mental health needs and helped him to self-manage. The shock of her death and absence are stretching his coping abilities to the limit. His GP, support worker and a bereavement counsellor are helping him through this difficult time, as is Mind’s peer support platform which he’s been supported in learning to use.
- someone to help provide emotional support to him in his wife’s absence
- find a wider support network and more social contact, beyond the occasional family visit
- learn coping skills now he doesn’t have his wife to rely on