My name is Kelly Mattison and I am a freelance health and social affairs journalist based in Manchester. My articles have been published in the Big Issue in the North, Big Issue Scotland, Guardian Society and Young Minds magazine.
Along with my husband Jake Mattison who has worked with young people in care and leaving care for fifteen years I am the co-founder and co-developer of a domestic violence prevention programme called HEART (Healthy emotions and relationship training) for teenage girls.
I have interviewed celebrities to help highlight social issues including Alesha Dixon for the Guardian on her experience of growing up with domestic abuse and Ashley John-Baptiste for the Big Issue in the North on growing up in foster care. I also interviewed Calum Best for the Guardian and the Big Issue in the North on his experience of growing up with his footballing and alcoholic father George Best.
I am passionate about the subjects I write about and before I worked as a paid journalist I worked voluntarily for a year for an online magazine where I was the mental health editor. I researched and wrote articles on self-harm, male body dysmorphic disorder, social phobia, low self-esteem, depression, changing negative thought processes and cognitive behaviour therapy.
I feel that it is important to gain practical experience in the subjects that I write about and I am a trained Freedom Programme facilitator. The Freedom programme is a twelve week domestic violence awareness raising course. I worked at Stockport Women’s Centre and I delivered the programme to teenage girls and women who had experienced domestic violence and abuse.
I also worked as a domestic violence caseworker in two of the major accident and emergency departments in Greater Manchester. I trained doctors and nurses in how to spot the signs of domestic violence and I also worked one to one with victims of domestic violence who had just been admitted into the hospital with visible injuries.
I organised and attended a community workshop on forced marriage and honour based violence for practitioners and I am a trained Webster Stratton Incredible Years parenting programme facilitator. I have also worked as a family contact worker for Manchester Council where I supervised contact between children and their birth parents. At this stage the children had been removed from their family and placed in foster care. Children were often removed from their family because of issues such as domestic violence, neglect, drugs or alcohol.
I have researched for a BBC documentary about domestic violence and I provided case studies for the film of male perpetrators of domestic violence who I interviewed for an article for the Big Issue in the North.
I have researched for a documentary on young men and mental health and following my research I wrote an article to highlight mental health problems young men face. I examined how these problems often surface as issues such as addiction and criminal behaviour.
I am passionate about raising awareness about individuals becoming institutionalised after completing long-term and short-term prison sentences. I am interested in how the prison experience can grow on someone until it is the only life they know. I am also fascinated by how offenders can begin to rely on the institution of the prison itself simply to remain who they are and because of this I have written various articles about prisoners, offenders and ex-offenders.