Over the past several weeks we have developed an in depth understanding of our issues, yet there is still an obvious vastness to the issues that surround mental health. It is therefore now time to hone in on and generate intimate discussions with certain issues that resonate exceptional importance with us uniquely and individually. By brainstorming the possibilities individually, then discussing, deciphering and critiquing as a group appropriate and effective responses can be developed.

Initially, the brainstorming process begun as an individual exercise in which we were to focus on our chosen problem and make executive decisions, choices and answers in regards to the nitty-gritty; the who, what, when, where and why of our problem. In choosing a problem I found it significantly important to choose something that resonates with me due to both personal relevance and empirical nature. The particulars of my chosen issue are noted below:

Who does the problem effect: Suffering youths in rural and remote communities that are both unsupportive and unaware.

What are the boundaries of the problem: Societal stigma and the inability of such rural and remote communities to acknowledge and address the reality of mental illness. Mental health needs to be acknowledged as a sickness, indistinguishable to that of physical health.

Where does the problem occur: Rural and remote communities with the overall prevalence of mental illness being broadly similar to that of urban Australia, however the suicide rate is considerably higher.

Why is it important: Attention and care is needed when addressing the issue of mental health in rural and remote areas in order to reduce societal stigma and encourage help-seeking behaviours to ultimately create a cohesive society in which conversations about mental health are promoted.

An interesting exercise taken from this individual / collaborative brainstorming was the process in discovering the particular ‘why’ of our chosen problem and how it will ultimately influence the possibilities for our design response. Initially the why of my problem was resonating more significantly as the what. We were then forced to keep questioning each other why such significance and importance existed finally discovering it’s truest substance.

Five-point summary:

1. The issue of mental illness is extremely vast which only encourages us to increase our intimacy with certain problems and particular scenarios.

2. Because of such vastness and delicate nature of the issue of mental health it is extremely important to choose a problem that resonates with you on a personal level.

3. An in depth understanding of ‘why’ my said issue is so important is fundamental when discovering an appropriate and successful design response.

4. Constant discussion leading to the generation of feedback is extremely important when refining my design response.

5. Youths are extremely impressionable and therfore a crucial stakeholder in my issue

With the above five-point summary kept in mind, my draft proposal is as follows:

To create a supportive environment and cohesive society surrounding those youths suffering from mental illnesses and/or disorders in rural and remote communities. It is important to acknowledge the substantial difference of suicide prevalence in rural and remote communities, compared to that of urban Australia. By promoting conversation about mental health and encouraging help-seeking behaviours, such apparent societal stigma aims to be significantly reduced with said sufferers being successfully integrated into a cohesive society.


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