Mental Health Bookclub discussion

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message 1: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthais) Hi All,

Thanks so much for those of you who have completed the survey, it's been really helpful to understand a bit more about you and what you're looking for with this group.

Key things you've told me:

1. It's all about the book recommendations!

Like me, a lot of you are bookworms - hence why you're on Goodreads! Right now we're not delivering enough of that, so one of the main features of the redesign will hope to facilitate a big database of reviews that you can all check out.

2. Mixed feelings about the Group Reads

This was an interesting one as we had a lot of different perspectives on how the Group Reads are currently running. We had some who wanted them more regularly, some who wanted them less regularly. Some aren't interested in the non-mental health category, some want more specific mental health categories. Some aren't interested at all or don't have a lot of time / already have lots of books on your TBRs - and that's fine. Effectively - we're catering to a LOT of different needs and interests! Because of that I'm going to expand Group Reads to hopefully meet some of those needs, but please also remember you don't have to participate! There's no pressure.

3. Members want to make new friends / meet new people / have interesting discussions

This tended to come behind finding new books to read and can be a tough one to address as we've had quite low participation in the past few months despite lots of threads being there. I'm going to set up a few new things to try and encourage participation, but if you want to see more discussion, discuss! :)

4. We have a mix of members, but the primary reason for being here is because you have a mental health disorder

What you wanted to do next varied between just reading more about it mental health generally, reading more about your own condition and meeting people who might understand how you're feeling.

There were a minority of members who work in mental health and wanted to expand their reading on the subject, and an even smaller minority of authors and professionals who want to share their work and gain reviews.

What I want to state confidently is that the primary aim for this group is to provide a community space for those with, or loved ones affected by, mental health issues, brought together by a shared love of reading.

Authors and professionals remain absolutely welcome, however this is not a space for self-promotion. Author's corner will remain, please do share your work and if members want to read and review, they will. There are other groups for authors specifically which may be better suited to that.

Secondly, this is not a space for anyone wishing to enforce a certain way of addressing mental health issues due to professional or personal experience. I'd love to see people sharing their experiences and helping each other, but anyone who feels that their way is best and therefore all other ways are irrelevant/pointless/won't work and we should not be reading anything other than very specific mental health books - you may not find this group particularly satisfying. We will continue to have a broad variety of books from mental health and non-mental health categories, you don't have to read anything you're not interested in, but I hope you'll stay and share your perspective but recognise that it may not be applicable to everyone.

The Plan for 2017

1. Structuring the group around user-generated reviews

We have a big bookshelf of titles but to be honest, I haven't read most of them and I'm certainly not an expert in this field beyond my own illness! SO I'd like to encourage everyone to start submitting reviews. I will set up folders of different categories of mental health books, and one or two for general non-mental health recommendations. We'll have a thread for a book, and members can submit a review (as many members as have read it). That should hopefully generate loads of different recommendations for people to peruse. You can also discuss the book in the same thread. I've seen this work quite well in another group I'm part of and it may be a solution to take the pressure off having to have read the Group Reads to be part of a book discussion.

2. Group Reads will be monthly and the format will change.

While we had a mix of perspective on the frequency, more people wanted them monthly than any other frequency, so we're going to give this a go. Some people also wanted me to choose the books rather than vote, and we have had a history of people voting for books and not reading them, and then those participating in the Group Reads having to read something they didn't vote for.
SO several things will happen:

a - I want you guys to vote for a list of 12 categories of non-mental health books, one for each of the net 12 months. I will then choose the book within the category and produce the list for the next 12 months. That means you guys can plan ahead if you want to buy/borrow the book.

b. I would like 12 volunteers to choose a mental health book for each of the next 12 months. This makes it more like a traditional book club-type format, and gives you guys more opportunity to get involved choosing books you'd like to read and leading a discussion. I'll help you with facilitating the discussion if you're nervous about that, but if there's a book you're dying for people to read, let's do it! Again, I would ask that we have no self-nominated work for this please.

3. We're going to try Buddy Reads

I will set up a quarterly buddy reads list. This is where people sign up at the start of the quarter, and I will pair you with someone else. You two will get in touch with each other and choose a book to read at some point over that quarter (or more than one if you so choose!). The idea is that it helps members get to know each other, and have someone to talk about a book with if you aren't interested in or able to participate in a group read.

4. Other stuff

The MHB Reading Challenge will continue - it's never too late to sign up as you can backdate the books you've read.

The Support Chat folder will continue as a place for members to talk about what they're experiencing, share tips and tricks, therapeutic techniques etc.

The Non-Mental Health Chat folder will continue, I'd really love to see lots of discussion in here - anything goes! Music, film, TV, art, cooking, gardening, games, whatever you want!

Thanks again for all your feedback, it's been an insightful experience and I really hope you'll be interested in the new changes. I'll keep the Suggestion Box thread open, please keep telling me what you like/don't like.

message 2: by Martha (last edited Jan 28, 2017 05:00AM) (new)

Martha (marthais) The survey to vote for the non-mental health categories:

Survey link

This will close on Friday 3rd Feb and I'll release the list shortly after.

The sign up thread for volunteers to lead the mental health categories:

Sign up thread

This thread will remain open until we get 12 (or at least 6 and I can do the in between months)

The sign up thread for the first buddy reads (Jan-Mar)

Sign up thread

This thread will close on Friday 3rd Feb and you'll get your buddy shortly after. The new thread for Apr-June will open in late March

message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol (bookbakery) I am so happy that the MH books is available on Kindle Unlimited with free narration! I will definitely be participating in reading The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and other Clinical Tales

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