POST 10 // Reflection and proposition
By Eugenie Park
Working in a group has been so valuable and helpful this semester. Coming to class each week and being able to talk to the same group of people about my ideas and thoughts has definitely helped me to develop my understanding of my focus. Each one of us has been able to push each other through mind blocks and barriers within our research simply by discussion. Todays class was devoted to our design proposals and by discussing with one other member in the group, I was able to get greater feedback on my design proposal.
Discussing my proposal out loud and trying to explain the ideas behind the proposal was difficult. Despite knowing what I wanted to say I had trouble expressing my idea. This was a sign that my idea needed to be refined. Although my focus was on creating a stronger support network for soldiers, my partner commented that the proposal that I currently had did not reflect this notion very strongly. This design proposal focuses on expressing the experiences of soldiers and creating empathy within the audience.
Feedback included possibly instead creating an online data base that connects soldiers together. This could be done anonymously so that soldiers would not be biased towards each other. It was also noted that the anonymity could be used to connect people from opposing side of the war. This would be interesting to see the thoughts and worries from different perspectives as well as highlighting that mental illness is the same for everyone. After the given feedback, I realized there were many more options and parameters I needed to look into.
REVISED DESIGN PROPOSAL
Project Title // Got Your Six (GY6)
Practice Type // Generative System
The Issue // Soldiers serving and returning from service don’t often open up about their mental health issues as their experiences are difficult to express and discuss. Speaking with others from similar situations could help alleviate the mental stresses.
Possible Changes // Through this design proposal I hope to create a support network for soldiers as well as providing a creative outlet that helps individuals combat their mental health issues.
Design Action to Support Change // Soldiers are invited to attend a creative therapy workshop called Got Your 6 which works in conjunction with the National Mental Health week. Soldiers would create a series of 3 collages in response to the questions:
- How do you really feel?
- What is it like living with your condition?
- What does your mental illness look like?
These questions are some of many those with mental illnesses wished people asked (Schuster 2015). These questions brings mental illness to the table where individuals are able to express their thoughts in creative means.
The collages would be A4 in size and made from recycled new papers and magazines. Soldiers would be encouraged to be as creative or minimalistic as they please. Psychologists would be present to help monitor the soldiers.
During these workshops, soldiers are encouraged to speak with each other about their experiences and issues. Families are welcome to attend to learn more about how to support their loved ones. This workshop would be an environment in which soldiers and their families are able to talk about their mental health issues and struggles.
The resulting collages would be used to create greater awareness of mental health issues within the military environment and the greater need for support for soldiers and their military families.
Brangwin, N. 2016, “Mental Health of Military Personnel and Veterans”, Parliament of Australia, viewed 27 September 2016 <http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook44p/MilitaryHealth>
Riwi, “World Survey of Mental Illness Stigma”, Riwi, viewed 27 September 2016 <https://riwi.com/world-survey-of-mental-illness-stigma-in-the-journal-of-affective-disorders/>
Schuster, S. 2015, “24 Questions People With Mental Illness Wish You’d Ask”, The Mighty, viewed 27 September 2016 <https://themighty.com/2015/11/what-to-ask-people-with-mental-illness/>