Guest Blog:Depressed and stressed NHS mental health staff

The following blog post has been written and kindly donated by:

Sarah-Jayne – @OrdinaryMadBlog

Depressed and stressed NHS

mental health staff


A charter has been set up to address the startling levels of depression and stress in NHS talking therapies staff.

Depressed and stressed NHS mental health staff

A report by the British Psychological Society (BPS) shows that burnout, low morale and mental illness has increased over the last few years within in a workforce that is trying to treat similar difficulties in the general public.

The report asked staff to comment about their working lives, 90% of these comments were negative:

“•           “IAPT [Improving Access to Psychological Therapies] is a politically-driven monster which does not cater for staff feedback/input in any way. All we are told is TARGETS!!! And work harder.”

  • “Being target driven is the bane of our lives.”
  • “I am so disappointed I have just resigned.””

Following this report a charter was launched with the aim to support the mental health of mental health professionals.

Several MPs and government ministers have commented on the charter, highlighting the positive impact it will have, including the Cabinet Minister for Mental Health, Luciana Berger MP:

It is unacceptable that the dedicated psychological professionals, who provide vital support to those in need, are themselves increasingly suffering from stress and other mental health conditions. The Charter will play an important role in helping employers promote and improve the wellbeing of their staff.”

Norman Lamb made a link between the mental health of staff and its impact on Parity of Esteem or equality within the NHS for mental health services:

 “Quite apart from the clear moral argument for taking staff wellbeing seriously, we cannot hope to achieve equality for mental health unless the psychological workforce is properly supported.”

A new target will soon be set for the amount of people accessing psychological support to increase from 15% of the population to 25%, these people should then be seen within 6 weeks. Without a huge increase in funding and resources this target is unmanageable, the pressure on NHS staff will increase further.

It is clear from this report and from conversations happening in the front line that this problem is significant and doesn’t appear to be improving, which begs the question: what is being done about it?

Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners make up a large part of the work force, last week they had their annual conference. Disappointingly there was no mention of the charter or a recognition of the pressure and strain being experienced. Instead the focus was on getting people off benefits and back into work, which only served to lower the morale of an already burnt out group of bright young professionals, who care about the people they are trying to support.

Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes president of the British Psychological Society wrote in the BPS magazine about how the charter can be used to help the situation:

“The Charter actually provides a new opportunity for people working in psychological therapy services to raise the issue of the stress involved in this sort of work, the consequence of this work and the effects on work life balance, simply by referring to it in meetings and promoting it in the bottom-up way to their organisations.”

While it is understandable to feel beaten down by the situation, we do all have a responsibility to raise this as an issue in as many levels of front line staff and management as possible. Without having conversations about this issue change is unlikely to happen. Just saying “I’ve just read this charter about our organisation, what do you think we could do to help ourselves and our colleagues?” is a way to take a small step towards tackling this issue.

Sarah-Jayne – @OrdinaryMadBlog


I would personally like to thank Sarah-Jayne – @OrdinaryMadBlog for this stimulating and important contribution to my blog. Let us all continue to share and learn from one another as we all look to improve the staff experience in healthcare for a healthier and safer service for all.

Until next time, take care of yourselves, and each other.



Maximizing your Academic Potential Via Social Media: Part One

This week I was asked by the Research Excellence Unit at Coventry University to host a seminar on how academics can maximize their academic potential via social media as part of the wider research impact agenda…

I could not possibly cover every aspect of social media (its too huge)…

Some participants were beginners, and some were looking to expand upon what they are already good at doing…Twas a great crowd 🙂

Following this event I was going to slowly publish this seminar over a series of 6 blog posts over a few weeks…However, this event was very popular and many are asking for the slides and blog posts this week…

Also..many others could not attend but really wanted to!….and so…this seminar will be published as a few blog posts over the next week or so….Enjoy!

Many people ask the following questions:

  • How do academics use social media?
  • How can  social media be used for research?
  • How can social media be used to promote businesses?
  • How can social media be used to promote Community interest companies (CIC)?
  • How can social media be used for networking?
  • How can I use social media to promote my academic research?

You can find the entire 4 part blog series which answer these questions by clicking here

Maximizing your Academic Potential Via Social Media: Part One

By Sally Pezaro

Follow me on Twitter: @SallyPezaro


As a background…I am a midwife, academic and Social Media Ninja. My research is embedded within health and social care, with a topical focus on supporting the midwifery workforce. As such, this blog series will focus largely upon engagement within the health and social care research scene. However, many people have found this seminar easy to extrapolate to their own fields of research. I hope you do too 🙂


Social Media

Are you ready to be a Social Media Ninja?..Then I’ll begin…

Firstly, its important to know why you are using social media. What for?.. Just because this blog post says you should? (That is a good reason by the way)!

There are many reasons, and none are really wrong…but some may be better than others…and some really should be separated out from the rest.

Which reasons would you choose?

  •  – Personal reasons?
  •  – To show the world how to party?
  •  – Professional reasons?
  •  – To get another job?
  •  – Promote your research centre?
  •  – To comment on what Justin Bieber is doing this week?
  •  – Raise your academic profile?
  •  – Find and collaborate with the global research community?
  •  – To get grants
  •  – To vote for my favourite Big Brother Housemate?
  •  – Self promotion?

All are possible.. and yes…I am also keen to vote for my favourite Big Brother house contestant…But Big Brother is also watching me online, and Big Brother may be my next employer, funder or collaborator. I would rather they see my latest research output presented with a little bit of my own personality… wouldn’t you?

We all slip off the wagon sometimes (including me) – But set yourself up in the foundations of keeping your personal and professional online profiles separate.

When you create your online profile, you are projecting yourself digitally…This profile will become your online profile, so come out of your comfort zone and connect. Everything and everyone is connected online some how….This is a good thing.


As this is only a relatively short blog series, and the world of social media is huge, I will only be covering the major platforms which I see being used most productively in online.

So..As we are trying to work out who and what you want to be online…and of course define a wonderful ‘online profile’ Lets break these platforms down and see how they might be used best.. Who are YOU online?

LinkedIn: This is YOU professionally. Nothing silly, unprofessional or slanderous goes here. This place is for your professional thoughts and opinions, your online CV and forms an online advert to the world as to who you are professionally. If you do not have a LinkedIn account, people can become frustrated to find that they cannot read more about your professional work when they look for it. LinkedIn is generally the ‘go to’ place for scouting employers, collaborators and employers. You want them to see how great you are don’t you?…You wouldn’t want to frustrate any potential future leads?…OK then. Nuff said.

Facebook: This is YOU casually/socially. You can be more relaxed on Facebook. However, this does not mean that potential leads may not see what you post here. So, ensure that your privacy settings are set to your taste and try to keep this medium for family and friends….It is never a good idea to post anything that you would not want your mum or the community noticeboard to see…Think before you post.

If you do want to use Facebook professionally, it is far better to set up a professional Facebook page rather than a duplicate account. Facebook makes these pages a really receptive medium for advertising and tailored recruitment campaigns. Advertise your professional profile via these pages if you feel the need.

Social media terms

Blogging: Your blog posts show YOU as a ‘thinking being’. Again, you can be more relaxed and friendly in a blog. Depending on the purpose of the blog, you can share either personal or professional posts. Occasionally a blog can be both personal and professional….Tailor this to the audience you think your blog may attract. Also, remember not to share anything you don’t want your entire audience to see. Big Brother is watching!…More on setting up blogs later.

Twitter: This is YOU as an active part of the research community. In my experience this is the platform that proves to be most engaging for the research community. It is one of the only few places you can directly message your research hero’s… How cool is that?

It’s fast paced and has a real community feel. You may get to know others in your field online before you meet in real life, be able to collaborate at conferences, be the first to hear the latest research news and ensure that your research gets a wide viewer reach.

YouTube: This is YOU as a dynamic part of a professional team. YouTube is the worlds largest search engine and it is owned by Google. You may choose to set up your own channels and share public videos of you speaking, your lectures or promotional videos. This medium is very good for commercialising research projects along with other platforms, as you can create and share promotional videos for yourself as an academic, for your research centre or for a particular stream of research that has a particularly high profile. In my opinion, Kings College London achieves this to perfection.

Here is just one example of how YouTube may be used to promote research…I imagine that their funders might be quite happy to see this 🙂


YOU as an academic researcher also need to ensure that you have your digital imprint all over the web by connecting your work with the global community..This means using academic social platforms frequently..Such as…

  • Get yourself an Orcid ID
  • Engage with Research Gate
  • Look at your Google Scholar Profile
  • Use Repositories
  • Are you on academia.edu ??
  • Be mindful of Altmetrics
  • Use slideshare!
  • Make sure you adopt new online research directories early.

There will be more on all of this later…. Don’t panic…

This is just your online profile in a nutshell…

Help I'm in a Nutshell


Now: Before we go on…Here are a few terms and jargon you may want to refer to before you head into the social media sphere… not all of them will be used….but just in case:

  • BRB – Be Right Back
  • ASL? – Age? Sex? Location?
  • BTW – By The Way
  • CTA – Call To Action
  • DFTBA – Don’t forget to be awesome
  • GTG – Got To Go
  • IM – Instant Message
  • PM – Private Message
  • JK – Just Kidding
  • LOL – Laugh Out Loud
  • LMAO – Laughing My Ass Off
  • ROFL – Rolling On the Floor Laughing
  • YOLO – You Only Live Once
  • TBH – To Be Honest
  • IRL – In Real Life
  • TTYL – Talk To You Later
  • TLDR – Too Long Didn’t Read
  • IMHO – In My Humble Opinion
  • IMO – In My Opinion
  • YW – You’re Welcome
  • OIC – Oh I See
  • SMH – Shaking My Head
  • IDK – I Don’t Know
  • FTW – For The Win
  • HBD – Happy BirthDay

Now…you have a couple of homework tasks to get through before we go on to part 2:

  1. Decide how you want to project yourself online…What are your goals?

  2. Explore the topics and platforms I have introduced within this first blog post.

  3. Google yourself! – What do people see?….If you want them to see something else….Tune in for the rest of this blog series!


Academic on Social Media



One day you will become a Social Media Ninja. Until then, look after yourselves…and each other…




Maximizing your Academic Potential Via Social Media: Part Two

Welcome to part 2 of this blog series exploring how you might maximizing your academic potential via social media.

Many people ask the following questions:

  • How do academics use social media?
  • How can  social media be used for research?
  • How can social media be used to promote businesses?
  • How can social media be used to promote Community interest companies (CIC)?
  • How can social media be used for networking?
  • How can I use social media to promote my academic research?

You can find the entire 4 part blog series which answer these questions by clicking here

This series reflects a seminar I was asked to give at Coventry University by the research excellence unit. Enjoy.

OK, so let’s start with Twitter…. (My personal favourite)


academic twitter

The basics:

This is a fast paced micro blogging site where you have 140 characters to say something catchy about your research, a conference or a contemporary issue. It can be used both personally and professionally. However, I do not recommend mixing your personal and professional online profiles within the same account.

As you set up your profile, use a professional image for your profile picture. Your cover photo might want to reflect your current work or a campaign you feel strongly about. Your profile can have personality and be quirky, but generally, I hope you will be using this professionally….so…keep it professional? OK.

Your twitter handle or ‘identifier’ should be simple. Preferably your name rather than @sexygurly1234. In addition to this, you can also add a calling name. If you are an academic, you may want this to show your academic status….perhaps ‘Dr.Doolittle’? ‘Professor Plum’? or such like.

NOTE: Anything you do set up (Names, URL’s & academic accounts)…ensure that it has longevity.

  • For example...don’t add a date/year to anything that might change…
  • If you are going to need a (.com) at a later date, choose it sooner rather than later….
  • Are you going to change institutions?..Then be careful not to commit to anything permanent in this regard online.
  • Going to change the name of your research centre?… Then you may well loose followers when you do…so think carefully.

Chessboard thinking = Think 2 moves ahead!

People will ‘tag’ you using your Twitter handle. You should tag them back! – Twitter is very social and interactive. Tagging someone in a tweet means using the @ symbol in a tweet followed by their name @SallyPezaro. This will get their attention, and yours. You will be notified as to who has tagged who and what the conversation is. See this in the notifications tab on Twitter. You can play with your settings to set who and what you want to see. Have a play once you set up.

Also, you may want to pin a tweet. This should be your favorite tweet – perhaps you latest paper or research work? – You can change this as frequently as you like.

Here is an example where I pin a Tweet showing my latest research citation. I tagged 10 key researchers in my field to let them know of this new content and shared the link to the full article for people to explore. I also tagged the Royal College of Midwives (@MidwivesRCM) who used my research to form their new guidance on Work-related stress.

pinned tweet

Ready to set up and have a go?


Once you are set up, use and share visual content such as videos or pictures as often as you can. This is most engaging. (You can tag up to 10 people in a picture to draw their attention to it). Tag and re-tweet interesting content, and search for people you find interesting in your field. Follow them. Interact with them… Where else would you get the chance to do that?

Next, explore some hashtags to find out what conversations are happening. A hashtag (#) is a filing system which sorts out various conversations.

Interested in sandwiches? – Search for  and you will find every twitter user from around the world who likes to talk about them. Now replace  with something interesting….

When a certain hashtag is used very heavily over a short period of time, it will start ‘Trending’ – This is when content, or a conversation goes ‘Viral’…Who knows… maybe one day #SallyPezarosLatestPaper will go viral. I can but hope. When a Trend is planned, it is called a ‘ThunderClap’. In this case, many users will plan to tweet a certain Hashtag at the same time to force a trend. Fun to get involved with 🙂

Here are some hashtags to get you started:

Use them where you can in your own tweets and perhaps follow them?

MondayFunday #Mondaze #MondayMadness

#MondayMotivation #TransformationTuesday #TravelTuesday

#TuesdayTips #WednesdayWisdom #WednesdayWellness #HumpDay

#ThrowbackThursday or #TBT #ThursdayThoughts #TGIF #FridayFeeling

#FollowFriday or #FF #FollowBackFriday or #FBF #FridayReads

#Weekend #SaturdayPlans #SocialSaturday #Weekend #SundayFunday

#SundayNight #SelfieSunday #SundayBlogShare







Now..Who should you follow?

  • People you want to work with
  • People you respect
  • People you want to share work/ideas with
  • The We Communities (For healthcare).
  • The Royal Colleges
  • Key opinion leaders in your field
  • Academic Media (Times, guardian higherEd etc…)
  • National Institute of Health Research (and other key funders in your field).
  • Universities (and their relevant departments)
  • NHS, DoH etc… (Anyone who will disseminate the latest white papers)!
  • Journals you want to publish in (tag them when they do publish you!)

My personal favourites- @PhD2Published @AcademicPain @AcademiaObscura @TheLitCritGuy @AcademicsSay @GameofAcademics @HigherEdUnDead @fasttrackimpact  @AcademicBatgirl  @researchwhisper @PHDcomics @PhDForum @WriteThatPhD @academia@PhD_Connect

Don’t know what to Tweet?

Anything professional

  • Who are you going meet today? – Tag them
  • What are you working on today? – Share it
  • What was the last paper you published? – Pin it and tag those you want to read it, including the journal
  • Your opinions on hot professional topics
  • Your contributions to popular professional conversations or (Trends)
  • Your appreciation for other peoples work you admire
  • Your celebratory comments to colleagues
  • Reciprocal congratulatory tweets
  • Everything about key conferences using the conference hashtag (photos and quotes)!
  • Share and ‘like’ other things you like or want to promote

Twitter is most useful for academic networking during conference season….

Conference will (or should) provide a conference hashtag. Use it to follow the conversation, find out who else is going and join in! Tag and follow those you want to network with. Let them know you will be there..ask to join them in a coffee break.

Be bold.

Other people will be watching the conference hashtag even though they are not in attendance at the conference. Tweet some quotes and pictures of them… share the learnings. Reflect and build the community.

Here is an example:

twitter confereces

Lastly, I wanted to draw your attention to the benefits of community and shared learning on Twitter. The We Communities are a great way to connect with other health care groups and professionals..They really embrace research and collaborations with academics. They also host regular chats using various hashtags which are great to learn from and engage with…

We communities

If none of these chats take your fancy, why not try looking at the Healthcare Hashtag project, which catalogs a wider range of healthcare discussion topics.

Healthcare Hashtag project

Looking to join an online school or Journal club on Twitter? The School for Health and Social Care radicals is a great way to get started…


I do apologise that these tips largely relate to the health and social care communities…As I find new information on other Twitter fields I will share….It just so happens that this is my professional field in particular.

If you have other suggestions please share them in the comments section below…

As this blog series continues, we can explore how Twitter can be used for research purposes…In the next post we can look at other social media platforms and relate them all back to how we might use them for research and for academic promotion.

For now, I hope you have found this post on Twitter for academics useful….

Homework for next time:

  • Set up your Twitter account
  • Start Tweeting, following, sharing and connecting
  • Let me know how you get on

Until next time…Look after yourselves and each other.

Academic on Social Media


Maximizing your Academic Potential Via Social Media: Part Three

Welcome to part 3 of how to maximise your academic potential via social media. This blog series summarises a seminar I was asked to give by the research excellence unit at Coventry University.

Many people ask the following questions:

  • How do academics use social media?
  • How can  social media be used for research?
  • How can social media be used to promote businesses?
  • How can social media be used to promote Community interest companies (CIC)?
  • How can social media be used for networking?
  • How can I use social media to promote my academic research?

You can find the entire 4 part blog series which answer these questions by clicking here

Hopefully you will either be setting up and using your social media accounts by now, or you will already have your social media accounts set up and ready to go.

If not, here is another user friendly guide on how to do so..


So before we go any further, it is probably a good idea to discuss ‘netiquette’ i.e. the etiquette of online behaviour. The ‘do’s and don’ts’ online….Here are some simple rules:

  • Be human and remember the human behind the screen
  • Stay away from the negative, even if things get unpleasant, try to diffuse the situation or walk away (digitally).
  • Nurture a culture of reciprocal support and celebration as you congratulate those who achieve (including yourself)!
  • Respect others’ privacy, confidentiality and anonymity
  • Remember that real world codes and laws still apply online
  • Be forgiving of others mistakes (and your own)!

OK, so now we have explored Twitter, lets go on to the others in brief…



Facebook is slower paced, and in my opinion, is best used for casual friends and family use. Remember, it is still important to remain professional in any case. Big Brother could always be watching!

That doesn’t mean that Facebook cannot be used professionally. I’m sure your friends and family (perhaps a few colleagues) would love to know about your achievements as well as how you are enjoying a pub lunch with your dog.

More importantly, I think Facebook can be great for recruitment strategies in research. This is because you can pay for very effected and extremely targeted advertising if you know how. This means that if you want to study elite athletes who practice Nordic walking for instance…Facebook will know where they are and target your advert directly at them.. Clever huh? (Or a little scary!)..

You can also follow large scientific groups and pages who will sometimes want to promote your work (if you talk nicely to them)! The British Psychological Society have been particularly helpful for me and my work on Facebook.

Facebook is also great for commercialising or monitising your research ideas should you want to move your project into becoming a business or Community Interest Company (CIC). This is because Facebook enables you to set up business, personal or front facing pages. These pages are separate to your account (no need to set up a new account for a new business). These pages work really well as stand alone websites, as you can download apps to them to suit your needs and even sell from them.

See my academic Facebook page here -> THE ACADEMIC MIDWIFE

Trending and hash-tagging features are still available on Facebook so don’t forget to use them!

you tube


YouTube is the largest search engine and is owned by Google, therefore the usual Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) rules apply. (More on that later).

This platform is great for generating viral and visual contest. Videos.

Once you set up your YouTube ‘channel’ you can link it to Google plus and share the content easily and quickly with others to achieve maximum reach. This can be a personal channel where you upload your interview, lecture and promotional research videos. Or it can be great for a research centre looking to promote their work collectively.

There are many innovative ways academics can attract some positive attention online: Be creative!




Quite simply, this is your online CV. In my experience, it is where potential collaborators, funders and employers will go to find out more about you….So it can be frustrating if your profile is absent, out of date, or incomplete.

You can also engage in professional discussion and blog directly onto the LinkedIn platform. this can be useful for getting your thoughts known, especially if you join groups or follow organisations with shared interests.

Here are some top tips for LinkedIn

  • It is your online CV
  • Keep everything very professional
  • Keep it up to date
  • Use professional images and photos
  • Celebrate the achievements of yourself & others
  • Connect with people & shared interests
  • Add your papers, grants, honours and awards.
  • Join in group conversations
  • Blog more professionally on Linkedin
  • Create groups and company pages
  • Check out advertised jobs
  • Be found by recruitment agents (by using strategic key words).
  • Let people ‘Scout you out’ at conferences
  • Scout others out who you want to connect with
  • Professional sharing only!

Now, there are other social media such as Google plus, instagram, snapchat and Pinterest etc…However, I have found these less useful in research. This is unless of course you are wanting to conduct research via these social media?

However, I would create a google plus account if only to link your YouTube account into this platform and share things for the benefit of Google. Google decides what to show and what not to show, and so with everything you write, you need to think about what people will search for if they are trying to find you and your work. With this in mind, use keywords to ‘maximise your academic potential via social media’.


This is what Google (and other search engines) will look for:

  • Unique names come out on top
  • The volume of incoming links from related websites
  • Time within website
  • Page titles
  • Quality of content
  • Relevance
  • Page descriptions
  • Quantity of content
  • Technical precision of source code
  • Volume and consistency of searches
  • Spelling
  • Page views
  • Revisits
  • Click-throughs
  • Technical user-features
  • Uniqueness
  • Regularity of updated content (like news, weather or a regulary updated Twitter feed)
  • Functional vs broken hyperlinks

Lastly, I wanted to talk about Blogging:


This is where you can share your learnings, knowledge, thoughts and ideas fairly casually as I am doing now. As you will see on my blog, everything is interlinked, as people can arrive here and see my other social media channels and connect with me. I also make it very easy for people to share and comment on what I post.

I am sharing my research journey. Everything I publish on here is automatically shared on all of my other channels, because I have set it up this way to avoid duplication (working smart)! I also recruit my participants from here, share my papers and conference talks. I reflect on things I have seen and done. This is a great way to absorb what I have experienced and can also be very therapeutic in some cases.

I would highly recommend blogging your research journey and keeping people posting on what you are doing throughout your academic career. For this reason it is important to choose a unique and catchy title for your blog which will capture the nature of your work on a long term basis (You don’t want to start all over again because that specific part of your research ended and you named your blog ‘MyLiteratureReview.com’).

There are all types of blogging platforms to choose from:

As you can see, I use word press because I find it easier to connect with other blogs. You can also make your page here as snazzy or as simple as you like. You can also upgrade at any time (this blog is free).

Top Tips on Blogging:

  • Share your professional thoughts values and opinions
  • Build a picture of ‘Who you are’
  • A hub to link others to your other profiles
  • A place to share your work
  • Reflect on conferences/events
  • Reply to the public
  • Document your academic journey
  • Create community debate
  • Add your blog to an academic blog directory
  • Connect blogs together within organisations
  • No more than 1000 words (ish) per post weekly/monthly – Keep it consistent!
  • Interact with other blogs and join the conversation
  • Stay positive & professional (even if you get negative responses)!
  • Never release research before publication!
  • Think of Google and SEO! (avoid jargon)
  • Have ever changing content (Twitter feed/news/weather)
  • Think about your audience & who will engage
  • Connect everything together in a ‘hub’
  • Use social media to share and promote your blog (Use hashtags too!)
  • Use visuals, quotes, slide shares, hyperlinks, videos and engaging content

So, That’s it for part 3 of this blog series. There will be one more part to this blog series where I will take you through a few things on how to use social media for research and academic promotion. Until then, why not start to build your social media empire?

You are nearly qualified as a Social Media Ninja!


Until next time, look after yourselves, and each other.




Maximizing your Academic Potential Via Social Media: Part Four

Welcome. This is the final part of a 4 part blog series designed to help academics to maximize their professional potential via social media.

Many people ask the following questions:

  • How do academics use social media?
  • How can  social media be used for research?
  • How can social media be used to promote businesses?
  • How can social media be used to promote Community interest companies (CIC)?
  • How can social media be used for networking?
  • How can I use social media to promote my academic research?

You can find the entire 4 part blog series which answer these questions by clicking here

This blog series reflects a seminar I was asked to give by the Research Excellence unit at Coventry University. I hope you find it useful 🙂

How do we relate social media to academia?

Ok, so we have largely gone through how to set up social media accounts and use them for the purpose of promoting our academic ‘selves’… But how does this relate more specifically to academia?

Here are some academic platforms which all academics should embrace.. we touched upon these earlier:

  • Orcid ID’s
  • Research gate
  • Google Scholar Profiles
  • Repositories
  • academia.edu
  • Altmetrics
  • Slidshare

The social media data you collect can be used in grant applications and impact studies

I would also recommend the early adoption of new online research directories. It can’t really hurt to jump on board early, and you may get ‘found’ or ‘discovered’ before anyone else!

Google yourself! – This is what future funders, employers and collaborators will see –  What comes up first? Don’t like it?… Then optimise your online presence to project the best possible ‘YOU’.

Academic on Social Media

Once you are optimised, you might be interested in tracking your success. Altmetrics is growing fast as a tool and platform with which to track the success and reach of certain papers.

The Altmetric score for a research output provides an indicator of the amount of attention that it has received.

The score is derived from an automated algorithm, and represents a weighted count of the amount of attention we’ve picked up for a research output. Why is it weighted? To reflect the relative reach of each type of source. It’s easy to imagine that the average newspaper story is more likely to bring attention to the research output than the average tweet.

This is reflected in the default weightings:









Sina Weibo




Policy Documents (per source)












A more detailed description of how Altmetrics works can be found here.

For a live example of how Altmetric works, here is an example from one of my recent papers. I can see who, where and how people have accessed and shared my paper. For this paper so far, Altmetric has seen 70 tweets from 52 users, with an upper bound of 86,999 followers.


Altmetrics page

This Altmetric score can only grow

->  Check out the updated progress of this paper right now by clicking here

Now imagine if your whole research centre was active on social media, they each had 1000 (relevant) followers and everybody shared each others work in a celebratory way!….How far could your reach spread?

Below, you will see the papers with the highest Altmetric scoring…Within these articles so far, Altmetric has seen 2467 tweets from 2308 users, with an upper bound of 5,064,475 followers.

Double Wow!

top altmetric papers

Check out the latest top 100 Altmetric articles here

How to increase your Altmetric score:

The Altmetric scores will always follow the interactions made with your article, and the reach and spread of its URL link. So make sure you use this link wherever you can

It usually looks like this: http://www.womenandbirth.org/article/S1871-5192(15)00326-1/abstract

  • Now that you run a blog (after reading this blog series of course you will right?) add a post about your article.
  • As your contacts to blog about and share your paper
  • Ask your press office of institution to promote the link of the article in news stories (and everywhere really).
  • Tweet about your paper (more than once!) – Try pinning it to your profile page with an image and tag people who might be interested to ready and share it.
  • Start a discussion about your paper and invite people to comment online.
  • Highlight your paper at conference, raise its profile and ask people to share it online. Make this easy for them by connecting with them and tagging them.
  • Promote reciprocal sharing where you share and celebrate the work of your colleagues in return (You scratch my back I’ll scratch yours)!
  • Share your work with fellow academics on Mendeley
  • Take a look at Wiley’s Journal Author Promotional Toolkit.

Health Research via Social Media

As you will know, I am a midwife by background and my work largely focuses upon workforce issues, health and well being. Therefore, this section will introduce you to some cool work being done via social media in the health and social care fields. I hope you can extrapolate this to your own work…

There is much to talk about, so I consolidate some of this section here:

These are some groovy ways to use social media huh?

I myself have used social media and this blog to recruit participants for my own Delphi study research… See the summary of this recruitment strategy below…Paper protocol here.

Multimedia Appendix 1 - Social media engagement and recruitment summary.

More recently, I have been involved with a research study on Twitter. This study was designed to explore what  for healthcare staff This was done with a vision of helping healthcare organisations to become more compassionate towards their staff. See info here. See metrics here. I will be promoting the results of this study within this blog, once the paper is published of course!


And so last but not least, it is time to leave you with a few of my top tips before I send you out of this social media nest to fly out on your own as social media ninjas. Unfortunately I of course have not been able to cover everything about social media and its academic uses within this blog series. Nevertheless I hope you have found this introduction useful.

I would be very happy help you or your organisation, so please do contact me via the contact pages of this blog if you wish to talk further.

Social media is one of my many passions, and I really do think it has great potential to achieve so many things. Lets all maximise our potential together by lifting each other up and supporting one another to achieve wonderful things.

be unique

Final Top Tips

  • Be wary of changing your brand (Think 2 steps ahead)
  • Stay away from the negative –> follow the positive
  • Be consistent, human, reflective, sharing, collaborative, brave!
  • Use Bitly– Condenses long URLs to make them easier to share – Also generates stats.
  • Never use Social Media whilst drunk!
  • Think of spellings – American or English? Who are you trying to attract? Going global?
  • Exploit your email signature (Add your social media links etc for imprints online).
  • Exploit your presentation slides (Add your social media links to them)
  • Use photos on Twitter (tag up to 10 people in them)!
  • Treat everything you post as public – Think before you post!
  • Respect Google and other search engines
  • Join blogging directories (or create one?)
  • Join online communities (or create one?)
  • Follow and engage with key influencers in your field
  • Explore HOOTSUITE! (This allows you to schedule your outgoing content to save time)
  • KEEP ACTIVE – 10 minutes a day goes a long way 🙂


The Last Word

When people are looking down at their mobile devices, they may actually be online looking directly at you….What do you want them to see?

Be fabulous

Thank you for reading this blog. If you found it helpful please share it with others!

Follow me on Twitter: @SallyPezaro


Slideshare below:


Midwife Burnout: A Brief Summary

This week I have seen midwife burnout rear its head more than a few times. This is an issue close to my heart and one I dedicate my research to on a daily basis. Being a registered midwife and having practised through turbulent times myself, I know how it feels to give all that you have and yet forget to put yourself first at any time. You become a burnt out midwife, unable to give the highest quality or safest maternity care.

Here’s how it may happen…


The recent National  Maternity Review highlighted that midwives were more likely than any other professional group to report feeling pressured at work. Also, levels of staff stress in the NHS are the highest of any sector and staff consistently report a lack of compassion shown to them from leaders and managers within their organisations.

I find this incredibly sad…. We want to care so much for women and their babies…yet we fail to care for ourselves and each other.

The latest  work-related stress guidance cites one of my paper’s, which claims that “Midwives are entitled to a psychologically safe professional journey”… This is wonderful to see…but will we ever see midwives being cared for in equal partnership with the women and families they care for?

A colleague of mine recently noted that ‘as soon as we say that patients come first…we immediately devalue the staff’….

This got me thinking….and writing this blog post.

In the midwifery news this week:

I have come across the following articles in one way or another…

The experience of professional burnout can be one of extreme personal pain which some midwives feel they may never recover from. Despite global recognition of the destructive phenomenon of burnout, midwives may not understand what was happening to them. They can feel judged as managing their practices poorly, experience isolated feelings of shame, and feel unable to disclose their escalating need for help.

Young, C. M., Smythe, L., & Couper, J. M. (2015). Burnout: Lessons from the lived experience of case loading midwives. International Journal of Childbirth, 5(3), 154-165.

My 3 latest papers have addressed the issue of midwife burnout and psychological distress in great detail…I shall be publishing more shortly… for further reading see:

Pezaro, S. The midwifery workforce:  A global picture of psychological distress – ARTICLEinMIDWIVES: OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF MIDWIVES 19:33 · MARCH 2016

Pezaro S (2016) Addressing psychological distress in midwives. Nursing Times; 112: 8, 22-23.

Pezaro, S., Clyne, W., Turner, A., Fulton, E. A., & Gerada, C. (2015). ‘Midwives overboard! ‘Inside their hearts are breaking, their makeup may be flaking but their smile still stays on. Women and Birth. In press.

Midwife burnout is rarely understood…Yet one thing is clear, we really do need to find new ways to support each other and look after ourselves for the benefit of all midwives working within midwifery profession, and the families we care for.

This week I will continue to write my systematic literature review which aims to identify the nature and existence of interventions designed to support midwives in work-related psychological distress, and their effectiveness at improving the psychological well-being of midwives.

Once this is complete, we will be one step closer towards effectively supporting midwives in work-related psychological distress.

Until then, look after yourselves…and each other.


Maximising your academic potential via social media

This is just a short blog post to say that I will be hosting a seminar on …

Maximising your academic potential via social media this week at @covcampus

Many people have said they would like to come… but cannot attend on this occasion…..

As such, I will be publishing this seminar in a series of blog posts designed for academics looking to maximise their potential via social media – Hope this helps 🙂

Follow my blog with Bloglovin



Reflections from the 4th International Well being at work conference 2016


So…This week I have been visiting the wonderful city of Amsterdam to attend and speak at the 4th International Wellbeing at Work conference hosted by VU UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER AND TNO.

This conference was great for networking, meeting people of like mind and learning about new research in the field of wellbeing at work. As I continue to carry out my own research into the psychological wellbeing of the midwifery workforce, I was happy to see other research work that will no doubt steer my own future work.

I was humbled to meet Christina Maslach who has done so much work in the field of burnout in healthcare and other staff around the world. The development of the Maslach burnout inventory (MBI) has been instrumental to the understanding of burnout in all types of professions. As such, I was very excited to share a quiet glass of chilled white wine and discuss further research in this field. There is so much to learn from you Christina!

The MBI Surveys address three general scales:

  • Emotional Exhaustion measures feelings of being emotionally overextended and exhausted by one’s work
  • Depersonalization measures an unfeeling and impersonal response toward recipients of one’s service, care treatment, or instruction
  • Personal Accomplishment measures feelings of competence and successful achievement in one’s work.

Christina Maslach is also now the editor of the newly found journal of burnout research. I hope to submit a paper to this journal in the not too distant future!

Having always had a keen interest in leadership, I was delighted to hear researchers from the university of Lausanne outline the key role that leadership has to play in the development of healthy workplaces. When we focus on the development of managers and leaders in the workplace, we essentially set the tone of the wider organisational cultures and behaviours. They lead the way and essentially show ‘How we do things here’!

wellbeing at work in leadrship

Equally, we must understand that health and well being at work and job satisfaction is more than a fruit basket! As we heard from ,  it became clear that interventions such as free exercise and health checks are insufficient in the development of a healthy workplace. They do no harm, yet we must look at new ways to promote healthy work cultures which set the tone of good workplace well being. I found this presentation very useful, and I will be reflecting upon the ways in which the findings of this particular work can be extrapolated to the #NHS workplace.

Also Lars L. Andersen is a really great guy 🙂


Although I found many of the presentations enthralling (and I cannot possibly list them all!) – I was particularly interested to hear researchers from  speak about mitigating employee silence. Through my own research I am quickly finding that health care workers can be reluctant to speak up about poor care, ill health and episodes of ‘impairment’. Occupational health and safety leading indicators are key to enable organisations to thrive.

The Top 3 Leading Indicators Organizations Should Adopt

Tracking and recording leading indicators is most useful to management when it tells the whole story of processes from start (or sometimes preparations to start) to finish. This makes it easier to gauge employees’ commitment to workplace safety and where to start from a training and communication perspective. Below is a short list of priority indicators to track.

  1. The more observations that employees and managers report, the more robust the data. One to two observations per employee on a weekly basis is excellent. This should not be considered a “tattle-tale” exercise, but a way to offer suggestions for improvement, recognition of underlying issues and maintenance needs as well as near misses.
  2. Employee engagement is critical for number 1 to work correctly. If all levels of the organization are paying attention to these things and talking about safety, a true safety culture will permeate throughout the organization. Best in class companies aim for 80 percent participation. This can ensure that many different aspects of your company’s processes are being evaluated and reported on.
  3. How long does it take the organization to act on observed deficiencies? Most corrections will be achievable very quickly. However, having more than 20 percent of these issues taking more than 48 hours to correct can mean that your company and management staff is not very effective at managing risk, which is a leading indicator in itself.

(Todd Hohn, Workplace magazine)

Mitigating employee silence

The mediation model of burnout provides a way of linking the quality of a nurse’s worklife to various outcomes, such as turnover. This will definitely be an interesting model to explore in my own future research where I look to find new ways to support midwives in work-related psychological distress.

Although there were a number of presentations which focused upon supporting the well being of health care professionals at work, none addressed the needs of midwives as a specific population to focus upon. This reinforces my own belief that in researching the support needs of midwives and the development of interventions to support them is still widely under researched. I hope I can conquer this niche area of very important research work to be done.

This particular presentation reflecting upon a meta-analysis of resources that contribute to the resilience of nurses was indeed fascinating. As I am currently working on a systematic literature review to explore the efficacy and existence of interventions to support midwives in work-related psychological distress, I hope my own work can complement new and emerging discoveries in this area.

resilience in nurses

My own presentation was very warmly received by an audience passionate about psychological well being of staff. I thank you all for your insights and questions in relation to my current work, I hope you enjoyed the healthy discussions and debates had by all.
wellbeing at work conference
The conference itself was buzzing with passion and enthusiasm from it’s delegates, and the hosts certainly took care of us with hydration, fresh and healthy food…massages during the breaks! (A first for me)… Strange characters invited delegates to the screening of a new health motivated movie (Some kind of space girl and a huge Postman Pat type character no less!
…Also.. a health cafe was available for delegates to check  their blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and BMI to make personalised and informed life changes to improve overall health. If only all conferences were so innovative!
Lastly, I wanted to reflect on how beautiful Amsterdam is at this time of year! The sunshine, flowers and beauty of this buzzing city really shone this week. The people of Amsterdam are also very welcoming and warm…Thank you for a wonderful and enlightening experience!
I hope to see you all at the 5th Well being at work conference in 2018, France.