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Posted on May 30 2022 by Fiona Bailey

More than 51,000 people have read articles or heard positive news stories in the media about St Andrew’s throughout May.

The coverage in May alone totalled nearly £300,000 if compared to equivalent advertising rates, but the positive column inches did not cost the charity a penny because the stories were all newsworthy and interesting to people.

Headfest, the county’s first mental health festival, played a large part in the press coverage as St Andrew’s Healthcare and all the other partners threw as much promotion at the event as they could.

Dubbed the “Glastonbury of mental health”, coverage began at the beginning of the month when online publications such as Business in the Midlands, TeaTalk Magazine, WellBeing News, All Post News, News Anyway, Healthcare Desk and Business in the News all posted stories online about the event on the same day.

Local newspapers also helped promote Headfest with a piece about the festival appearing in the Daventry Express newspaper, the Corby Telegraph and on the Chronicle and Echo website.

To help boost recruitment, the St Andrew’s Communication team also had the Headfest story placed within the Online Recruitment magazine.

Positive media attention continued for St Andrew’s Healthcare over the course of the festival, which was held during Mental Health Awareness Week.

Rosetta Publishing, the Chronicle and Echo and Northants Live  ran a story about a Headfest attendee who went to a veteran talk, hosted by the hospital. The ex-serviceman told the press he had been “desperate” as he had been ignored by other services, but St Andrew’s Healthcare staff did the opposite. They listened to him and signposted him to Op COURAGE, an NHS mental health specialist service designed to help those leaving the military, reservists, veterans and their families.

Being a BBC-run festival, there was plenty of coverage on the BBC with Look East running a TV piece about the event. BBC Northampton ran extensive coverage with Breakfast presenter Annabel Amos and other shows putting St Andrew’s Healthcare in the spotlight no less than 10 times during May. The station was very generous in giving air time to some key members of staff including Liz Ritchie and Victoria Kelly. Former patient Kayleigh also agreed to do an interview to help promote her patient talk, which took place during the week.

Sticking with the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week, Jess Lievesley put his name to a column which appeared in the print edition of the Chronicle and Echo. He wrote about loneliness and how it can have a huge impact on someone’s mental health.

Dr Inga Stewart also penned a column for the newspaper which marked Huntington's Disease Awareness Month. In her piece she wrote how some symptoms can get mistaken for being drunk and she urged all readers to be a little more understanding.

Away from Headfest, there was some more positive coverage with Liz popping up in Health & Beauty magazine commenting on the impact of hair loss in women and Northants Live running a story about St Andrew’s Healthcare staff donating their competition winnings to help the people of Ukraine.

There was also coverage in the Chronicle and Echo about Weston Favell Shopping Centre donating £500 to Workbridge and the paper also ran a piece about how a documentary short film called A Life Worth Living was being screened at the Northampton Film Festival.