What is the ‘MFNetwork’?
The MFNetwork is a community of trauma survivors and individuals with social and mental health challenges, who came together via social media to find support, validation and friendships with people that shared similar experiences, during the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak.
How did the MFNetwork start?
The creation of the MFNetwork was completely unintentional.
Our founder had been caring for an elderly friend at the time of the first national Covid-19 lockdown and downloaded TikTok to "see what all the fuss is about", after seeing talk about the social media app being used as a means to connect with others in a newly isolated world. Various communities have formed via the TikTok app bringing hundreds of people together and the MFNetwork is one of these communities. Since June 2020 the MFNetwork has grown into an inclusive and supportive online community of almost 3000 national & international members. And so the MFNetwork was formed.
What does the MFNetwork provide?
The MFNetwork is primarily a group for individuals seeking friendship and community support and advice as well as access to a wide range of information and research related to mental health and trauma. The MFNetwork aims to provide a safe space for individuals and friendship groups to share and assist one another in learning, healing and advocating for accessible and affordable integrated trauma-informed services and as a community we seek to call on governments to reform mental health and social care policies across the UK and beyond.
Ok, but what does the 'MF' stand for?
Well, it doesn’t mean what some may think! MF stands for “Multi-faceted” and represents the diversity and intersectionality within the community.
Regardless of race, sex, gender, health, education, class, and religion, trauma affects every demographic and every community. It may affect others in different ways but it is intersectional and multifaceted. Therefore, we as a network of survivors, people from different countries and cultures, all of whom have endured trauma, abuse and/or the impact of mental health in a world when it still is not taken as seriously as physical health., are just as multifaceted and intersectional as the traumatic experiences we survived.
What is the future of the MFNetwork?
Right now, we are exploring our options. We would like to expand and translate what we have done online as an online community into the physical realm. One of the plans we are currently working on is establishing the MFNetwork as a charitable organization and becoming registered with the Charity Commision.
Eventually, we would like to see the MFNetwork being set up in multiple locations creating a vast network of local community hubs providing friendship, advocacy, resources and support to individuals across the UK (and further afield!). Another aspect of the MFNetwork's future is to provide access to funding for community projects that benefit the local area, reduce social exclusion and encourage community collective action. In addition to this the MFNetwork hopes to one day also provide access to training for other organizations and charitable groups looking to establish trauma-informed practices into their own services.
Finally, due to excessive and enduring government cuts to services, many people spend long months awaiting access and/or treatment from local mental health services. The MFNetwork hopes to play a key role in suppporting and assisting local authorities, health boards and third-part organistions in reducing the strain on these services by providing a 'safe space' in which individuals ,seeking information or on extensive waiting lists, can access community-based support.