Mental health – Post 7: Issue Mapping
By Lina Lindberg.
I did not understand the power of words until we mapped it out in the tutorial in Week 4. Together as a group, we brainstormed hundreds of keywords over a short amount of time associated with mental health. For the first task (Task 1), it was extremely helpful to collaborate together with others, as it ignited discussion and new words that each of us have found in our research. We stepped in and helped each other with new viewpoints and worked together when a team member was stuck. Seeing all the different words together on the table was very valuable, as we could see connections and the overall issue with mental health.
As we broke down each of the words individually by looking at their synonyms and antonyms, we gained an indepth understanding of who would use each word and why. Each individual in the big group was then asked to write their initials on five words that they felt strongly about or was related to their issue. The most popular words from our team was ‘uncertainty’ and ‘undermined’. We determined that ‘uncertainty’ might be in terms of what the future will bring within mental health, and undermined as a feeling in society.
It was especially interesting to see certain patterns as we started to break the words up in emotions and their ‘opposites’. We arranged 20 of our words on a scale from positive to negative. By arranging the words in this emotive order, we could clearly see the variation. This task (2) was beneficial for me, as I was able to refer to my specific issue being borderline. People with borderline can feel optimistic (positive) one moment and can quickly feel as if they can barely get out of bed (negative). They rarely face the in-between stage like everyone else.
The next task (task 3) required us to reverse the papers to see the difference of their opposite meaning. I imagined that the opposite meaning of ‘unemotional’ would be defined as positivity and emotion, however, words such as ‘emotion’ and ‘identity’ have been socially interpreted with a negative tone.
After breaking down the words, our next challenge was to create a stakeholder map (task 4). The map involved the categories ‘uncertainty’, ‘ignorance’ and ‘future’. This was helpful as we could connect and see patterns of the words. The relationships that the group identified allowed me to see how social media and trends affect young adults today. These mapping exercises have been highly insightful as I’ve not only gained new viewpoints and stakeholders, but also been able to see the bigger picture of mental health overall.