Post5: Approaches to design for change, design-led ethnography


  • What do u know about teenagers’ mental health care?

-In China, people are still no attention on teenager’s mental health, but in Australia, mental health has become very common, as I understand it, the mental health care center is very profitable in Australia, people also attaches a great importance to this aspect of their children.

  • What do u think about online mental health care?

-I think mental health care would be better in ‘face to face’ way, doctors can understand the feelings of  patients more directly, the online care just can know information about patients by texts,  I think it can’t get an effective treatment result. Sometimes, the confidentiality of network data is not particularly good, patients’ information might be compromised. For myself, I prefer to see doctor directly and talk with them to know more about my mental health situations.

  • What should we do for teenagers’ mental health care?

-Actually, I think I am a part of teenagers, so we can care for them, make friends with them, communicate with them, we can’t discriminate against them, wen have to treat them like ordinary people, if we have more spare time, we can be a volunteer in some activities about teenagers’ mental health care.

  • Which part would be more important for teenagers’ mental health care, parents, teachers, community or themselves?

-I think it needs to have a balance between them, maybe they can cooperate or communicate with each others, at different times, teenagers will be in a different environment, so they need different people to supervise and inspect their mental health, for examples, at home, parents need to concerned about children’s mental health, in the school, it needs teachers or school’s help, between parents and teachers, there needs a good platform to communicate about each teenager’s mental health problem.

  • Do u know any organizations or institutions about teenagers’ mental health?

-To be honest, poorly understood. In china, this regard does not mature yet and people don’t have a high attention on children’s mental health problem. When I was in high school, sometimes there will be some experts or doctors come to school and do a speech about mental health, I think the school always promote this problem but no any helpful actions. Although many schools focus on promoting it and emphasizing the importance of mental health, however, in the action, they ignored how to create a good mental health environment and atmosphere, how to improve the abilities of students’ self-discovery and self-solve problems. Although many schools have a  mental health teacher, they always encourage students to face mental health problems and consult teacher consult, but the mental health teacher rarely be in an advantageous position.

  • In the process of ur mental health care, would u prefer to have an external (doctors, relevant agencies) helps and interventions or do you want to have more companionship, care, and guidance from close people (parents, friend,teachers)?

-Of course, I want close people to give me more care and they can understand me. Actually, I think a big part of reasons those can impact on adolescent mental health come from the environments around them, such as the relationship between their parents at home, be hard get along with friends and teachers  and study pressures in schools.  To solve a problem, find the root of this problem is the most important. For myself, I think it’s much easier to open up and talk about my feelings with the people around me, their guidance can relieve the pressure on my mental health.

  • In your life, what things or people are most likely to affect your mental activities?

-When I was younger, I think the relationships between my parents or between me and my parents are always affect me, I always feel that parents don’t understand me and I don’t want to communicate with them. In the school, teachers always put pressure on my studies, so I felt particularly bad at that time. But I can communicate better with other people now, so I think more problems are from myself or school, I am concerned about my studies and feel confused about my future after graduation.

  • When somethings or someones affected on your mental health, what would you do or say to make yourself feel better?

-In fact, there is a generation gap with my parents in the past and I am not close with teachers in the school, so my feelings lucking in my mind when I felt confused or talk with my friends sometimes. But now, I can communicate well with my parents and teachers, if I have any problems on my studies or works, they will patiently enlighten, encourage and support me, sometimes, when I was under a lot of pressure, I would go running, I always think this is a good way to reduce pressure.

  • In the process of your growth, do you think what aspects are lacking on your mental health care?

-As I mentioned before, I felt difficult to communicate with parents and teachers at that time, sometimes parents don’t know what happened when I was studying in the school, so they can’t know the whole situation about me, it seems there would be a generation gap between us. In the school, the teachers don’t want to know more about our family life, they just urge us to study harder and harder, so I always felt helpless at that time, I really want to get other people’s care and understandings.

  • Can you give me an example to describe this situation more directly?

-I think may be I don’t  have a particularly good story, i can tell you a story about my friend, in my junior high school,  I think she is a particularly smart and beautiful girl, probably she was in a rebellious phase at that time, so she was impacted by other students easily and had some bad habits, her parents didn’t persuade her and they abused her, so she became worse and worse, the teachers in school didn’t care about her anymore, her parents and teachers  didn’t communicate well, even there were some misunderstanding between them, after that, this girl started to do some extreme behavior, such as hunger strikes and suicide, finally, she dropped out of school. Actually, I always think, if school and her parents can put more efforts into this thing and select some positive ways to encourage her, perhaps the result would be different.


In class, we discussed many ways to record our survey, I decided to let my interviewee use emojis to record her daily mood and the reasons those affect her mood. She is a 20 year-old girl, I think she belongs to teenagers period, so it will help me to understand the reasons those impact on adolescent mental health, after knowing the reasons more clear and thorough can help me to make a useful service design for solving the mental heath problem in my future studies. 



See more details:probe

Although this is just a short-time record, it does not represent all people’s mental activity, from the record in this form, I  can see the influence on her mental health from various aspects in her life, the most pressure and impacts from school and her life, in her records, we can see her parents (family) gave her a lot of care and help, in this view, school, community, families are three indispensable parts in adolescent mental health.

5 point summary

  • On the mental health problems of teenagers, the communication between schools and parents is essential.
  • About the reasons of adolescent mental health problems, most of them are from the surrounding environment, family relations, academic pressure and etc.
  • Schools can not just do promotions about mental health knowledge, they should take more action to create a favorable mental health environment and atmosphere, to improve students’ ability of self-discovery and self-solving problems.
  • Community has increasingly recognized the importance of adolescent mental health, however, about actual actions, the community need to do more about management of those entertainment venues and the bad environments around schools those would affect the growth of teenagers adversely, to create an atmosphere that the whole society and businesses are concerned about the mental health growth of adolescent.
  • In my future studies, I can put more attention on the research about the importance of the connections between  schools and parents for adolescent mental health, there may be can have an associated service design exists on communications between teachers and parents, perhaps this would be a good help for adolescent mental health.


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