A note from Renata

An update on my progress after launching Moodfuel News: I'm celebrating the small wins while working toward larger ones

Since my January hiatus ends today, I wanted to bring you up to date. The short version: I launched Moodfuel News in October 2022 and have been building slowly in the last three months. As a solopreneur wearing all the hats of running a news business, it's been overwhelming and soul-healing, too.

Infographic listing "mental health in CO covered," "Revenue streams activated," "Resource Guide helped," "Mental health events cited," "Creators & newsrooms shared," & "New self-care skills applied"

The word about Moodfuel News is spreading and I've noticed an uptick in subscribers from within the mental health sphere – hello! I also have received some helpful shout-outs from local journalism colleagues Corey Hutchins, Linda Shapely, Vicky Collins and Shavonne Blades – thank you!

In addition to the accomplishments detailed above, four companies requested information on Resource Guide sponsorships, but I need a closer to work some magic in that department – know anyone who's good at sales?

Goals for 2023

My main goal this year is to reach more people who are at risk, our neighbors struggling right now with unmet mental health needs. Because Colorado ranked last in access to mental healthcare and sixth in suicides, there are many.

Because mental health is intersectional, they are People of Color and white; queer and straight; differently abled and physically adept; veterans and non-serving; elders and pre-teens. One aspect in common? They are unable to get the mental healthcare they need using established systems in our state. Through the inclusive, solutions-based journalism offered by Moodfuel News, I want to inform more residents, especially in under-served communities, that mental health is achievable because support is available in zero-to-low cost ways that work for them.

To make that happen, I'll use a variety of tactics. The first is surveys – three simple questions to respond to by tapping or clicking – that will appear in the newsletter, on the website and in your inbox. I need two minutes of your time to learn which aspects of Moodfuel News work for you and which need improvement. Thank you in advance for the help.

Second, I'll be meeting with intermediary organizations this year who can introduce me to their communities. I want to listen to residents' needs regarding mental health news and learn their perceptions of the programs, policies and people in the state that affect their mental health.

Third, I'll be moving out from behind my desk to start conversations at fairs, festivals, markets and other community events. These discussions will be challenging because most Coloradans aren't used to talking about mental health holistically; it's been stigmatized and siloed from other health conversations for so long. However, I believe beginning in a neutral place and opening by asking, "What does mental health mean to you?," together we will smash stigma, allay fears and create a safe space for more conversation. My first event will be the Self Care Holistic Fair in Moffat on Feb. 12.

Indigenous Student Journalist Fellowship

Finally, I can't end without mentioning the last opportunity to support the Moodfuel News Indigenous Student Journalist Fellowship. The deadline to reach our goal of $700 is TODAY.

Indigenous Student Journalist Fellowship appeal in gold, purple & black w/a photo of a group of Indigenous students

In addition to all their learning about and practice of mental health journalism, the Fellows' capstone would be moderating a public, community-building panel discussion about mental healthcare access in under-resourced Colorado communities. The panel would include a legislator, policy maker, peer specialist, Behavioral Health Administration representative, mental health advocate and resident with lived experience. If the $700 goal is met today, you will be invited to attend!

Just think, your tax-deductible donation will launch the Fellowship, enabling two Indigenous journalism students to move much closer to their dreams of becoming professional journalists! Please give today on our fundraising page. Thank you.

Author image
Supporting people in recovery from trauma and suicidal intensity is my Why. I live differently abled & am proudly part-Indigenous (Mvskoke).
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