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Making Sense of Facebook: A Beginners Guide

April 5, 2016

Facebook is the most popular of all the social media websites and applications available.  According to it’s own figures, over one billion people worldwide are active members of the site.  If you have just joined Facebook and you don’t yet know your way around the site or understand all the main features and language used on the site then this blog post hopes to make this a little clearer.  

The image above is a typical view you will see when you first log into your Facebook account.  This page is known as your ‘home screen’.  

The blue bar along the top of your browser screen allows you to navigate between your home screen, personal Facebook page,any pending friend requests (1), private messages (2) and notifications (3).

Friend requests

The icon should look like two people standing together and this part of the site shows any pending friend requests you have received and the status of any you have sent out to others.  You can search for people you may know by typing their name in the search box at the very top of the page.  If you see someone you would like to connect, and become friends with, you can send them a friend request. 

Private messages

Facebook allows you to send and receive private messages (like emails) and these can be opened by clicking on the icon number 2.


Notifications could include any comments posted by friends on a post/photo or video you have shared, any ‘likes’ you have received for comments or other posts you have made or any new posts made on any groups you are members of or pages you have liked.  

From time to time you will see a little red number appear beside one of these.  This number relates to the number of new messages/updates you have received since you last checked.  Periodically you will also see numbers appear beside the ‘Home’ button on the blue bar.  This number tells you how many new posts your friends, pages you have liked or groups you have joined have made since you last looked at the home page.


The section down the middle is the newsfeed and this is where all the new posts, photos, videos and comments from your friends will appear.  The next section to the right is where Facebook displays adverts for Facebook groups and pages.  The final column on the far right tells you who out of your friends is currently online and using Facebook's instant messenger or chat function. Facebook will automatically assume you wish for your friends to see that you are online.  If you want to disable this click ‘turn off chat’ located in the bottom box (labeled Facebook messenger in the picture above).

This image shows  how your personal Facebook page will look.  You can get to your own page by clicking where the your name appears in the top blue bar.

Profile Picture and Facebook Cover

The square box on the top, left of the page is where a person would upload a personal profile picture and the strip along the top of the page is the persons ‘cover’ and this can be personalised like the profile picture.

Under the cover image are 5 tabs: ‘Timeline’, ‘About’, ‘Friends’, ‘Photos’ and ‘More’.


The timeline is the name Facebook gives to the stream of posts and status changes you have made on your own page.  This is the screen currently showing and the default screen that appears when you visit a personal page.  


Next to the timeline tab is the about section.  This is where you can add in information such as your marital status, religious beliefs,  and political affiliations.  You can also add in your job role and the name of the organisation you work for, where you studied, your hometown and where you are originally from.  An abbreviated version of this information can also be seen in the box titled ‘Intro’.


If you click on the ‘Friends’ tab all of the friends you have on Facebook will appear.  A small section of these will also appear on your personal page below the box marked photos.  This can not be seen on the picture below.


The photos tab is where all the pictures you have uploaded will appear.  You have the option of creating albums which are folders in which you can group photos.  Any pictures that your friends have tagged you in will also appear here and so will any pictures you have used as profile pictures.


The tab marked ‘More’ is a drop down menu for any apps you may have added to your Facebook page or other social media accounts that you may have linked to your Facebook page, such as Twitter or Instagram. This section also allows you to add films and books that you’ve liked, places you have visited and ‘checked in’.  

Checking in

Checking in is a feature on Facebook where you can update your status and share with people where you are at that time.  Most businesses are stored within the directory on Facebook so if you were visiting a coffee shops or pub you can share this with people by ‘checking in’.

If you would like a printable version of this blog post then head over to the worksheets section and you can download and print it from there.   


Returning to Work After a Period of Mental Ill Health

March 29, 2016

According to the Office of Statistics common mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, and stress related illness have become some of the top causes of long term sickness.  
 The term 'stress related illness' is often used to describe issues such as burnout, exhaustion, depression and anxiety.  Taking time out from work can provide some respite but this can then lead to anxieties around returning to work. Below are some suggestions on managing the return to work after a spell of me...

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A Beginners Guide to Social Media

February 23, 2016
Social media has become an extremely popular way to keep in touch with friends, family and other contacts. It also provides a potential space for making new contacts and friends from around the world. There are lots of options which are targeted at different markets and work in slightly different ways. Rather than try to cover every option out there I have stuck to the three most popular.


Facebook is one of the oldest of the social media platforms and it is the most popular worldwide b...

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Decluttering Tips: Items That You Can Recycle

January 25, 2016

Embarking on a task like decluttering can be an emotional experience.  We can form attachments to objects, sometimes long after they are useful to us, so letting them go can feel hard.  Often knowing that the items are going to a new home or will be put to a new use can make this process easier to manage. Below are some ideas and suggestions of ways of disposing of some hoarded or unwanted items.

Books can be easy items to rehome, especially if they are in a good condition.  In this insta...

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A Quick Guide to Developing New Healthy Habits

January 12, 2016
The New Year can be a time for revisiting goals and setting new ones for the coming year.  Below are seven tips to help you to stay on track and ensure that your new habits become part of your regular routine.

1. Be smart
By smart, I mean, set SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.  For more information on this see my earlier blog post on goal setting.  

2. Action planning
If you imagine your goal as being the 'what' you'd like to achieve then your action pla...

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Tips to Help You Manage Anxiety when Travelling to New Places

January 7, 2016

Travelling to a new location can be daunting, especially if you experience anxiety. Sometimes, however, it is unavoidable. You may need to travel somewhere new to attend a health appointment, visit family or a friend, attend a meeting or interview or start a new job or study.  Below are some steps you can take to manage the feelings of anxiety you may experience in this new situation.

Plan journey
If you are travelling via public transport you can use websites such as Travelline or National Rai...
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Activities You Can Do on Christmas Day

December 22, 2015
Christmas Day is often thought of as a time when people spend time with family or loved ones, but for some this is not possible.  This could be due to family circumstances, ill health, finances or personal choice.  Whatever the reason, below are some suggestions of activities you can do over the Christmas period that can be done alone or with company and don't require extra cash.

1. Visit local parks and nature reserves
Getting out off the house and filling your lungs with some fresh air can be...

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Christmas Shopping Tips if you Suffer with Anxiety

December 1, 2015
Christmas shopping can be stressful at the best of times, but if you suffer with anxiety it can be especially tough.  Below are some tips to help you manage your anxiety levels while you do your shopping.

Plan Ahead
Planning ahead will help you to stay focused and enable you to work out a strategy for how to tackle your shopping.  Make a list of the items you want to purchase and think about where you could get these items from.  You can then make yourself a list per shop and take one shop at a...

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Tips to Help You Stay Within Your Christmas Budget

November 24, 2015
Christmas time can be a stressful time of year, especially if you are on a tight budget.  Below are some tips on how you can keep to a budget this Christmas.

Planning has an important role when you are shopping on a budget.  Start by making a list of everyone you are planning to buy a present for and set a budget for each person.  Decide what you would like to buy and how much you are willing to spend and then target your shopping trips to buying just these items.  Doing Christmas shop...

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World Mental Health Day 2015: Dignity and Mental Health

October 9, 2015
The 10th of October is World Mental Health Day and theme for this years events is dignity.  Dignity is such an important topic within mental health and it is a really positive step that mental health organisations are choosing to focus on this aspect of mental health this year. Below are a few of the thoughts I have had around the subject of dignity and supporting someone with a mental health issue.

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About Me

Katherine Clark I am experienced mental health worker with 15 years experience working with young people and adults with enduring mental health needs. I have set up this blog to share some of the tips and skills I have learnt along the way. If you have any suggestions or particular questions you would like me to answer feel free to email me at

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