We recently caught up with award-winning journalist Ginger Gorman to discuss her involvement in MHPN Presents' podcast series 'Trauma and Resilience'. Ginger features in episode six 'The Lived Experience of Trauma', as one of three guest experts contributing their lived experience of PTSD in a conversation led by host and presenter Professor Mark Creamer. Listen to the episode now to hear from Ginger, fellow guests, Geoff Evans and Sarah as they share their individual experiences of traumatic events, PTSD, and recovery.
You are well known for your writing on the topic of online hate and its impact of trolling and cyberbullying on mental health and wellbeing. How did you become involved in the public conversation on online bullying, trauma, and PTSD?
GINGER GORMAN: In 2013, I was trolled online. I received scores of hateful tweets, including a death threat. I was terrified for my safety and that of my family. But once the attack subsided, I found myself curious. Who were these trolls? How and why did they coordinate such an attack? So I went out to find some of them and talk to them. They were far more dangerous - and were doing far more damage - than I could have dreamed of.
As a mental health podcast program, MHPN Presents is pitched to both mental health professionals and members of the general public. You feature on episode 6 of ‘Trauma and Resilience’ as a guest with lived experience of trauma and PTSD. You also contribute to the program your ongoing expertise as an award winning journalist and host of the Seriously Social Podcast. Did MHPN Presents’ listeners (comprising practitioners and the general public) influence how and what you expressed on the topic of trauma, your experiences with, and recovery from PTSD in comparison to your other work?
GINGER GORMAN: For me, it’s really important that practitioners don’t just see themselves as experts in the mental health field, but they listen to and absorb the expertise that comes from those with lived experience and take learnings from that. So while I was trying to communicate with the general public about my experiences of PTSD and recovery, I was also trying to be clear and detailed about what did and didn’t help me for the benefit of medical professionals who might be listening. I was thrilled to take part - it was a great experience.
Can you share any highlights, notable experiences, or new insights gained from contributing your time and expertise to the Trauma and Resilience series?
GINGER GORMAN: It was actually quite an amazing experience being on this pod and hearing the stories of Sarah and Geoff too. The host, Mark, did a terrific job of drawing us all out and weaving the stories together (as a podcast host myself, I know this can be a challenge.) There’s something powerful about sharing in that combined, lived experience of PTSD and recovery. For me it’s also very useful to feel like that experience of mine has a meaning and can be useful to others. Within the podcast, we were talking about making meaning from our experiences - and in fact it’s a bit meta, because this pod has helped do that for me too.
If you could leave listeners of your episode with three main points regarding the lived experience of trauma and recovery from PTSD, what would they be?
- To get a handle on extreme cyberhate - who trolls are and the damage they do - take a listen to my BBC interview.
- The real-life harms that come from extreme cyberhate are real and must be taken seriously. Report abuse to esafety here.
- Suffering serious mental illness is just like any other injury - you need professional help to get better. Don’t be afraid to reach out and get that help. And if you don’t immediately find a practitioner that suits you, find another.
Want to hear more? You can listen to all MHPN Presents series on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and our website.
Already up to date on MHPN Presents? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know what you thought here or join the conversation online by using the hashtag #MHPNPresents on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter.
Interested in connecting with other practitioners? Browse and join MHPN’s local and online networks here, to connect with your local community of mental health practitioners.
Take your professional development further with MHPN webinars. Choose from over 100 topics and watch all past webinars in our webinar library.