Post 7: issue mapping

Co-creating an issue map with my group was a useful exercise in better understanding the issue of mental health and how one might approach it for a variety of reasons.

First and foremost, the collaborative nature of this issue mapping was highly helpful in generating a variety of viewpoints that one person working alone could not have genrated – or at least, not in the same amount of time. Working in a team allows one to access more ideas, and allows for discussion of ideas which may then lead to yet more insights. Sometimes, and not infrequently, other people think of things that would not have occurred to oneself at all.

The issue mapping exercise also served to highlight just how expansive and multi-faceted the issue of mental health was. This was made very evident by the visual nature of the map, which clearly showed each issue spiderwebbing off into several more. Visual mapping was also useful for showing the connections between various aspects.

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I found that the mapping was also good for the sheer volume of idea generation, because it was a very ‘loose’ exericse in which one did not have to worry about writing clearly or in a particularly organised format. This allowed more ideas and thoughts to flow. However, as this also resulted in a rather haphazard final result, for optimum results it would be ideal to analyse the information found in the maps and rewrite them in a more legible and organised manner.

The map has informed my approach to the issue by emphasising how broad the area of mental health is, leading me to the conclusion that attempting to tackle all of it would be difficult and impractical. It would therefore probably be best to narrow down a specific focus and concentrate on that.

Sunny Lai

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