In this second year group project myself and four others were asked my mental health charity Mind UK to explore the themes of mental health within the home and community.
Contextualising Mental Illness
The underlying theme throughout the project contextualising mental wellbeing. We started this by contextualising mental illnesses through audio tracks, these tracks mimic what the mind set of having different mental health problems. This was ideally for people with the community who do not experience mental health problems themselves to understand and start to sympathise what it is like to have a mental illness. As we found when talking to the public the stigma surrounding mental health mainly comes form ignorance and assumptions.
"Not Everyone has a mental Illness but we all have mental Health to maintain and look after "
After testing the installation we decided to continue the project with mental health in mind instead if mental illness, this was because we found that with creating the audio tracks we were putting these mental health problems into neat boxes of "this is exactly how you feel when you have this mental health problem" whereas in reality having a mental illness can be a lot more complex.
We designed a workshop aimed at getting children talking about their metal wellbeing's from a young age, again another problem that we found when researching. We took what we learnt about the mental illness when making the audio tracks and devised a list of different statements relating to different mental health problems. These statements would be read out loud to the child and if they agreed with the statement they would take a piece of clay in a specific colour. After all the statements were read the children would mould the clay together, this form would then be their very own mind monsters, which they are then encouraged to draw and name.
We the used this children workshop as a base to create a workshop aimed at young adults, we used the list of statements as a base but instead of picking moulding clay the participant picks up a corresponding sheet. Each of the sheets contain different self care tips, recipes and instructions loosely aimed towards preventing different mental health problems. For example those who resinated with the statements based around anxiety would pick up a sheet containing a meditation tutorial. By the end of the process the participant should have a tailor made workbook full of mental health care tips.
*Group Project in collaboration with Savannah Vize, Frankie Taylor and Abby Kaye