Rebecca Kerswell, Co-Founder
I live in Victoria, Canada and own my own small business marketing company that I run out of my home. I went to university in Victoria for Marketing Communications and always knew that I wanted to set up my own business. I consider myself an athlete and play rugby on a local Premiere 1stXV Women’s Rugby team. I do not have PTSD which is something that I always want to make clear so people don’t see me as a PTSD phony. Through my experience working with Kate Gillie and the PTSDchat project, I have developed a passion for utilizing my knowledge and expertise to break the stigma behind PTSD and to develop tools that can aid those with the injury.
One thing that I always want to make 100% clear is that I do not have PTSD. It is important to me that people know that so I am not perceived as a PTSD phony. Through my experience working with Kate Gillie and the PTSDchat project, I have developed a passion for utilizing my marketing and website development knowledge and expertise to break the stigma behind PTSD and to develop tools that can aid those with the injury.
How the #PTSDchat came to be?
In February 2015, Kate was looking for online marketing and social media assistance for her art. The Vancouver company that made Kate Gillie’s website KateGillieART.com referred Kate to me and my digital marketing business WHOAISMEDIA.com. At that point, I started working with Kate to build her online presence. After working together and getting to know each other for 2 months, Kate had expressed much interest in using her art to help others with PTSD like herself. I started to think about how Kate could reach and connect with people with PTSD and after some research, I suggested that we start the first ever PTSD Twitter chat; the #PTSDchat.
At that time, Kate didn’t even really know what Twitter was and definitely didn’t have a Twitter account. I made her an account and started to show her the ropes. We started the first #PTSDchat on Twitter on May 20th, 2015 with about 10 people showing up. The fact that 10 people actually came and engaged completely blew us away! From that date, we stayed persistent on growing it by keeping it going with weekly chats. It took a few tries before finally settling down on the Wednesday night chat time as we trail and errored it and found that that time seemed to work the best for most people. Now, the #PTSDchat has grown into a globally reached chat with people from all world including mostly North America as well as the UK and Australia.
How the #PTSDchat evolved and my role in that
The #PTSDchat started out very small with just Kate and myself as the driving force behind getting it started. It quickly grew into a consistent weekly Twitter chat with the addition of a #PTSDchat Newsletter (signup here: http://ptsdchat.org/subscribe/) in July, 2015, the creation of the #PTSDchat website in February 2016, and now the integration of the #PTSDchat LIVE online radio show in May 25, 2016.
My goal is to continue to foster the growth of the #PTSDchat in terms of website development and marketing and allow our new PTSDchat Ambassador team (as of May 25, 2016) to help take the lead on all other aspects of the #PTSDchat.