By Carla Moran
It took a lot of digging around, asking and writing to flesh out what exactly was the issue I wanted to focus on. Initially, I wanted to design a solution for the lack of education and outdated syllabus of mental illness in high schools. Instead I was asked, what was it that compelled me to choose this issue? And in response I said it was because growing up I felt that I didn’t have the adequate education and support to deal with my own mental illness.
And so the issue I want to focus on is the lack of support and educational systems for mental illness. Mental illness has become a lot more prevalent in younger generations, whereby at least 1 in 16 young Australians currently experience depression and one in six young Australians currently experience anxiety.¹ These mental illnesses are found in Australians as young as 15 years. Hence, I believe raising awareness should be spread across all ages. If we can equip the younger generations with knowledge and support of mental illness we can create a brighter future for those to come.
I have chosen to do a generative design, not to find a solution but rather to raise awareness and aim to open up more supportive and educational channels. My following thought was, how could I create something that would inform/engage people of all ages?
Miles is a personification of anxiety and depression. He’s the one that can show up at anytime and any place, when you least expect it and he’s often very hard to shake. Even though you feel his weight on you, others may not.
#Where’sMiles? is a mini campaign that seeks to raise awareness surrounding mental illness, in particular, anxiety and depression. There will be different products with this slogan on it and a special Snapchat filter, featuring Miles. What we ask the audience to do is take pictures of themselves wearing the badge/bag or taking a snap using the particular filter whenever they feel they’ve encountered Miles that day or have been experiencing Miles for part of their lives. When they post it on social media they use the #Where’sMiles? to increase awareness. Mental illness is an invisible illness and affects more people than we realise.
Going through life without the support and understanding, people’s anxiety and depression can ultimately infiltrate into their way of life. Although, a very dark and harrowing story, I wanted to visualise the issue in a way that is relatable and easy to understand for the audience. I hope that through these child like illustrations those that don’t suffer from mental illness can gain a better understanding of what it is like to deal with it on a daily basis.
The campaign would run for a week or so and would have multiple stalls running throughout the city, selling these products and raising awareness of the campaign.
Through this simple campaign, I hope to bring to the attention of people the need for more support and educational systems surrounding mental illness.
1.) Beyond Blue 2016, Stats and Facts, viewed 21st September 2016,