My Proposition


Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are the most common mental health problems faced by returning troops (Riwi 2016)


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.



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 <;

Riwi, “World Survey of Mental Illness Stigma”, Riwi, viewed 27 September 2016 <;

Schuster, S. 2015, 24 Questions People With Mental Illness Wish You’d Ask”, The Mighty, viewed 27 September 2016 <;


Visual Documentation

“This drawing is a symbolic statement about the nightmare of war, and the stealth with which turmoil and alienation works on the human psyche” (Tucker 1942)


POST 9 // Visual Documentation of the Brainstorming Session

By Eugenie Park


Brainstorming with my group has always been a fun and insightful activity. I find that these collaborative brainstorming sessions are valuable as they provide me with new perspective and new ideas. As a group, we all agreed that it was easier and more interesting to help each other out on their issues than focus on our own. For some reason, I was unable to think of design concepts or ideas but with others I had no problem. I think this was why these sessions are so important and helpful. Since we had spent the whole semester together, it was easier to talk and express ideas with each other and the discussion we had were valuable stepping stones to where we all stand with our focus ideas.

The brainstorming sessions in class started off a little slow as we didn’t know where or how to start. We thought it would be good to separate our possible design outcomes under the different branches of Emergent Design; Service Design, Generative Design and Data Visualisation. However, we found that this was limiting our ideas and was keeping us trapped as we tried think of outcomes that embodied the traits of those design categories. So we began to generate ideas first and then refine them to fit into emergent design. We disregarded how realistic or attainable these design outcomes were and instead focused on the problem statement and thought of all the possible solutions. This definitely helped us to create lots more ideas and concepts.

Mind mapping design responses for mental illness in education systems (Moran 2016)
Mind mapping design responses for mental health in rural/regional areas (Gearside 2016)

The following photos are from other group members. Thinking of ideas for each member of the group was helpful for us all as it put in the right mind set to generate ideas.

Mind mapping my problem statement (Park 2016)

The above image shows the ideas that we came up with for my specific focus. I was really interested about the notion of Post Secret; an ongoing community mail art project where people mail their secrets anonymously on a homemade postcard. Most of the concepts were based on education, support and anonymity. Brainstorming was very insightful as I definitely would not have been able to come up with all of these ideas by myself. I’m happy with the session that we had as I feel as if I have something to build upon with my design proposal. Discussing my ideas and thoughts with each member of the group has been beneficial as they have given me critical feedback on where I am with my focus as well as creating questions that I can further research.



Tucker, A. 1942, “Psycho, Heidelberg Military Hospital”, Australian War Memorial, viewed 14 September 2016 <;

A Design Response

“I hope Project 1 in 4 will help erase the stigma surrounding mental illness that prevents so many people from getting the help and support they need” (Betley 2015)


POST 8 // Brainstorming Possibilities for a Design Response

By Eugenie Park


Mind mapping, brainstorming, researching, reading and writing. The process of researching my focus has been long and at times tedious. I realized the more I read and researched the more confused I became. During the many class exercises, we were continuously told to remember why this was interesting and important to us and so it was not until Week 4 when we did the word mapping exercise that I realized I was more interested in the importance of support groups and their effect on those that are experiencing mental health issues. The following classes focused on other mind mapping and brainstorming exercises, definitely helped me to dig deeper into my new focus. Each week, talking with my group members in class and also within our group chat, I was continuously pushed to ask questions and research through various methods.

Those returning from war are experiencing mental health issues and the families that they return to, also experience mental health issues. The families and friends are not educated or trained to help support those with mental illnesses.


Australian military families alone are not able provide adequate support for serving and returning soldiers.




WHO does the problem effect?

Soldiers, Family and Friends.

WHAT are the boundaries of the problem?

A big boundary for this problem is the stigma that surrounds mental illness. This prevents many people from all different occupations from seeking treatment however this stigma has a stronger presence within the military environment. Soldiers do not want to be seen as weak or even be prevented from serving and thus keep their problems to themselves. Soldiers find it difficult to discuss their issues as the experiences from war are not entirely understood by all.

Lack of awareness and training is another boundary for this problem. Soldiers returning from service, return with mental health issues and families and friends are not aware of how to support and treat the issue. Soldiers and their families need to be aware of the mental health issues that can arise during service and how to manage it. Families also need support with supporting effected family members.

WHERE does the problem occur? Where does it need to be fixed?

The problem occurs everywhere. The stigma is everywhere and the lack of awareness is everywhere. Soldiers that train for the military need to be educated and informed about mental illness before they are sent to serve. The military environment needs to open up the conversation around mental illness and thus break the stigma that stops individuals from seeking help. The problem needs to be fixed before these individuals are sent to war.

WHEN does the problem occur? When does it need to be fixed?

Mental health illnesses do not occur after the soldiers return from service but are experienced and develop whilst individuals are serving. Veterans have a suicide rate 50% higher than those who did not serve in the military, and these statistics are slightly higher amongst veterans who were never deployed overseas (Bare 2015). This suggests that the cause of mental illnesses go beyond the trauma of war.

WHY is it important?

Supporting those with mental illnesses is vital. Although it may be hard to understand their experiences, it is possible to empathise and provide all the support we can to those that feel vulnerable. Having a strong support network helps those individuals suffering remember that there are people that care and love them. Returning soldiers should have that strong support network to help them through their nightmares and demons.

Mind mapping possible design responses to the problem statement. (Park 2016)



  • Data Visualisation
    • A data visualisation of the dates soldiers enlisted into the army and passed away from mental health issues/suicide. Data would also include age and perhaps time spent in service within Australia and overseas.
  • Online Data Base
    • A collection of nightmares that soldiers send in. These would be posted online for others to read and soldiers would be able to talk with one another. The dreams could also be displayed in a book or media piece where coding is used to transform the nightmares into spoken poems.
  • Campaign
    • A campaign that works to create greater awareness of mental health issues within the military environment. This campaign aims to work to educate and train soldiers and their families on mental health and its effects.
  • Support Group
    • Community group or service that stays with and helps families to support returning veterans and create a stronger support network.
  • Social Network
    • A social network created for soldiers and veterans to talk about their experiences and problems. People are able to post anonymously and can also connect with others to create an online support network.



For my design proposal, I have decided to focus on creating an interactive installation that is created from generative design. This installation will embody the experiences and nightmares of soliders whilst serving and after they have returned from service. This installation aims to emerse the audience into the mind of a soldier which brings greater awareness to the importance of supporting those with mental illnesses and well as being mindful of the mental health of your own and also those around you.

Soliders would send in their dreams or experiences online and these would then be rewritten by hand and shown on a touch screen wall within a dark room. Audience members can then read the stories and select sentences and words that stand out to them. The greater number of people that touch the same words or sentences, the brighter they shine on the wall. The room would be a moderate size not being too big and would have audio of murmuring voices. These voices would be reading the text however this audio is not to dominate the audience reading the text.

My design proposal needs much more work and refinement, as I need to continually question whether this is the best medium for conveying what I want to emphasise.



Bare, S. 2015, “The Truth About 22 Veteran Suicides A Day”, Task and Purpose, viewed 14 September 2016 <;

Holmes, L. 2015, “24 Spot-On Illustrations That Combat Mental Health Stigma”, Huffington Post, viewed 14 September 2016 <;



Maps Maps Maps

“A diagnosis is a burden enough without being burdened by secrecy and shame” (Kim 2014)


POST 7 // Issue Mapping

By Eugenie Park


Creating mind maps helps to organise thoughts and lets us think about how things are connected. The maps we created in Week 3 was an introduction; thinking about who the stakeholders were, both human and non human. Mapping them in terms of different categories helped us to really think and evaluate the position of these stakeholders.

Week 4’s mapping exercise helped us to develop a sense of understanding with words. These word mapping ideas was interesting to see as a group as each person had subconsciously focused on different types of words whether they were emotive, negative, encouraging or clinical. It was interesting to see that although we were studying the same issue, each person had a different perspective and focus. Most of the word choices that I had made for this exercise were focused on supporting and preventing the worst of mental illness; well being, mindfulness, future, lost, unavoidable. Connecting these words with stake holders was another thought-provoking task. With the one word, depending on which stake holder was saying or using it, the connotations of the word would change. As we thought about this, we realized that this was due to the personal nature of mental illness. This mapping exercise was valuable to me, as it changed the way I wanted to write about mental health. It made me realize and think about the connotations of words before using them.




During Week 5 another mapping exercise was done with the help of other group members. With a guide, we were asked to map out more specific areas of mental health. The government was analysed in terms of being a stake holder. Having other group members collaborating on these mind maps was valuable as we were able to learn from each others research and knowledge. Breaking down the government, there was a strong understanding of their position within mental health.

Government and Mental Health
Controversy and Mental Health
Controversy and Mental Health
Doctors and Mental Health


From looking at these maps, its evident that stigma will continue to limit mental health from being noticed. The stigma that surrounds mental illness is what stops people from seeking help which can result in outcomes that could be avoided such as suicide. Stigma weighs down the importance of speaking about mental illness which in turn stops people from being aware and mindful of the people around them. This lack of awareness has lead to individuals to suffer from mental health issues, which in turn can also effect those around the individual.

This exercise brought me back to an article that I had read for Post 1, which highlighted the alarming number of returning war veterans that were committing suicide from mental health issues. Soldiers experience mental health issues during their time in the war and carry them back when their deployment is done. However only one fifth are reporting symptoms of PTSD or depression and within that only half seek treatment (Dingfelder 2009). Soldiers were afraid that mental health issues would stunt their career development or even result in their separation from the service. The stigma of being weakness is another factor that prevents these men and women from seeking help (Dingfelder 2009). More needs to be done to demolish the stigma of mental illness within the military, so that people can openly seek help and receive support and treatment.



Dingfelder, S. 2009, “The Military’s War on Stigma”, American Psychological Association, vol. 40, No. 6, pp. 52

Kim, D. 2014, “Stacks of You”, Moonassi, viewed  6 September 2016 <;





Gathering Data

Screen Shot 2016-09-27 at 11.04.07 PM.png
Despite the rising number of deaths to suicide, what’s really being done? (Michel 2016)


POST 6 // Scraping the Web for Data

By Eugenie Park


The internet is dense with information. With the help of search engines, all types of information can be found. The use of data scraping tools enables are more focused search from all sources. Scraping the web for specific data is useful to see what the community is thinking about your focus area. Using the advanced search tool on Twitter, I was able to find the current stance on mental health in the military.

Screen Shot 2016-09-27 at 2.56.27 AM.png

Stigma plays a huge role in preventing soldiers in seeking help. Despite this no much is being done to talk about the issue and break the barriers that are stopping individuals from receiving treatment.






Looking to scrape more data, I chose to use Datapipeline to research more into my focus. I found that a lot of the results were repeated as it picked up on retweets. However it was interesting to see the Top Retweets and Favourites.


5 Point Summary

  • A slight change in search terms can change the resulting tweets. This brings me back to the word mind mapping exercise that was done in class.
  • Despite the known concerns of soldiers and veterans suffering from mental health issues, not much is being done. The filtered tweets go back to 2009 however only 11 out of 213 tweets were posted this year. There are not many campaigns or services advertised to support soldiers and veterans as well as their families with treating mental illness
  • More people are becoming aware that a greater number of people with mental illness are turning to suicide. Despite each case is different, knowing the ‘symptoms’ can definitely help.
  • A handful of people do not view the mental health of soldiers as a result of their upbringing and also due to their choice to become soldiers. Another handful of people are sceptical about the relationship between service and mental health.
  • Soldiers and veterans dealing with mental health issues may also be experiencing problems with drug abuse. This is a big problem within the States.



Michel, J. 2016, “Veteran Commits Suicide Hours After Being Turned Away At VA Facility – Rest In Peace”, Twitter Post, 27 July, viewed 6 September 2016 <;

Talking about Mental Health



Happy Friday Night, hanging out with friends! (Ng 2016)


POST 5 // Approaches to Design for Change/Design-led Ethnography

By Eugenie Park



During class in Week 3, we were given the task to interview one of our peers about our specific issues. And so the following week, I conducted my interview about mental health. The following outlines the ideas spoken by the interviewees; Michael, Sarah and David**.

Mental health is a disease, something that is equally as painful and difficult as a physical disease. Despite a growing number of people suffering from mental illness’ it doesn’t seem to be an issue that is discussed more openly. All three feel strongly little is being done to help those and their families.

All three people knew of at least one or two people experiencing mental health issues, depression and anxiety being the most common. However, Sarah thought there would be more that she did not know of as she understands that this is a personal issue that some people have difficulty talking about. As the topic is delicate and sensitive, they felt that unless a friend or family member confided in them first they would not bring it up. Michael stated that perhaps another reason for the absence of discussion between his friends could be influenced by his Korean background. Most Korean people do not speak of mental illness as it is still not understood and thus not seen as ‘real’.

All three interviewees are aware of the difficulties of dealing with mental health issues by themselves, and so it anyone were to come to them for support they would listen and help find ways to manage their illness. Advice would be given however without the proper education this would be limiting and so professional help would be suggested. Understanding the seriousness of mental illness and the courage it takes to confide in someone, all three interviewees would not turn them away. When it came to confiding their own mental health issues with others, each person hesitated. David stated he would keep it to himself and only seek help when it reached a point where it was too difficult for him to handle by himself. He was not sure why this was the case however believed it may be because he himself would not know accurately whether he was experiencing a mental illness. David found that speaking to a counsellor or psychologist would be easier as they would not have any standard for him or his background. Sarah and Michael replied that they would confide in only their closest of friends or family members rather than professionals at first due to the personal nature of the problem, however would not hesitate to seek professional help with the support of those friends or family.

The internet was the first source of information to find out about mental health. Whether it was just for knowledge or for self-diagnosis, the internet is easiest to use and although not being the most accurate, it comes with a sense of anonymity and security. The interviewees were not aware of the mental health services that are available in the community, or did know but did not know how to access them. On the other hand, most knew of mental health movements through social media such as ‘R U Okay’ and the 22 Push Up Challenge.

When it comes to stress, Sarah and Michael admit they doesn’t work well under it. They aren’t able to concentrate or focus which limits their productivity and creates frustration. David stated that he enjoyed working under some stress as it helped him to work harder and faster. However there is a threshold and when it passes this point, productivity decreases and procrastination kicks in. Ways in dealing with stress included taking a break and talking with friends, having a snack or cup of coffee or the most popular, taking a quick nap.

With the interviews being complete, each person was told about the theory of creativity and mental health. It was interesting to note that Sarah had no knowledge that the two were interrelated. David and Michael had some vague understanding that the two could be related from their knowledge of famous artists and writers.


The interviewees were asked to draw an image at the end of each day that represented how they felt the overall day went. They would be limited to drawing with only circles, however colour and size were her choice. Under the image, they would write one sentence describing the image.

The following drawing are the results of the probe.

Interviewee 1 // Sarah, Female, Chinese, 22, Visual Communications


Despite not knowing about the correlation between creativity and mental health, it was interesting to see that Sarah had chosen to use colour and greater detail on the days that she was feeling positive.

Interviewee 2 // David, Male, 25, Korean, Dental Health


David stuck to the notion of circles, using a greater number of circles and space on days with higher emotion.

Interviewee 3 // Michael, Male, 22, Australian, Media Communications


Despite not being in the creative field, Michael has chosen to express days of high emotion with detail and creativity.

Success and Failure

This probe was interesting to see how each person interpreted the task. I think the probe was successful in some aspects as it helped me to see how different people work under stress. As the probe was undertaken by both people in and out of the creative industry, it was interesting to see the similarities and differences between the results.

Working as a group of images, I feel like the probe was a failure as each person had interpreted the task in different ways. It was also hard to measure the scale of creativity for each image as there is no definite answer; something that previous studies have documented in their scholarly articles.

Alterations of the Probe

Although I thought the probe was quite simple and controlled, having asked multiple people to under take the same probe, the task was interpreted differently. I also realized that some people had taken a literal approach to their drawings, trying to depict an activity or event that happened during the day rather than their feelings.

If I were to do this probe again, I would set different parameters; limiting participants to one circle and drawing around it to express their emotions. I would also ask participants to rate how they felt on the day on a scale of 1-10 (1 being bad and 10 being happy). This along with their explanation would help to moderate the results in a group.

5 Point Summary

  • Talking to a few people, most stated initially stated that mental illness is an issue but nothing is being done about it. Many young people aged 18-25 don’t know where to go to seek help or how to go about dealing with the issue. Many people also do not know that they are experiencing mental health issues until later on which makes treatment more difficult.
  • Different cultures have different positions on mental health. Asian culture typically looks down upon those with mental health issues as it creates connotations of weakness and thus stops people from seeking treatment. Not wanting to be ostracised and bringing shame to the family is a huge factor for people not talking about or reaching out for help.
  • Although some people know about the relationship between creativity and mental illness, some do not. Most people think this is a coincidence that does not have scientific or any supporting evidence. Studies show there is a relationship between the two notions however it is weak. However, it is true that treating mental illness through creative means such as narrative therapy does help individuals dealing with mental health issues.
  • People find the internet as their go to source for research on mental health; finding a diagnosis, although not being 100% accurate, is easy and something they can do privately within their own homes as well as having the extra factor of being anonymous. Despite having close friends and family members, all interviewee’s stated difficulty with bringing up the conversation.
  • Education seems to be a big issue with mental health. Some people despite wanting to help friends or family member with their mental illness, are not sure what to do or how to go about it. It could be as simple as asking them how their day was or being there in tough times, however those with mental health issues have stated that it is sometimes difficult to describe or talk their experience as they feel others would not understand. Therefor education about mental health and being able to empathise is vital to help prevent and monitor the issue.


The process of interviewing was a vital part of my research as it helped me to gain insight into how other people view mental health. Having a simple discussion with others and talking about the issue, reminded me of exactly why I had chosen to research mental health. Support. Support plays such a big factor in treating mental health and definitely changes the experience of those suffering from it. Many friends and family members have found it difficult to support close ones with mental health issues and have stated that there are not many resources for them to learn from. On the other hand, many people with mental health issues believe that those who do not suffer would not be able to understand their ordeal which prevents them from speaking about their problems. I believe a strong support network would help combat this issue as friends and family would be trained and educated to empathize. Support is vital to help ease the negative experiences of mental illnesses.


**Names have been changed



Malchiodi, C. 2013, “My Years in Tree Rings”, Pinterest, viewed 30 August 2016 <;

Stake Holders and Images of Mental Health

“Having a mental illness may make daily things more challenging or extreme, but it’s definitely not black and white” (Rubyetc 2016)


POST 3 // Mapping the Participants (Human and Non-Human) and Constructing an Image Archive

By Eugenie Park



Developing the stake holders map in class was interesting to make as helped us to put into perspective all the human and non human stake holders that were involved with mental health. It was difficult at first as my knowledge was limited. There were the basic and well known mental health services such as Beyond Blue and Headspace however that was it. Our original stake holders map is pictured below.

Initial Stake Holders Map 

After reading more into mental health, I further developed the mind map. It was interesting to see that a lot of the stake holders overlapped with similar services or values.

Refined Stake Holders Map

We then went on to map out the stake holders in terms of influence, knowledge and engagement and it was interesting to see how the entities divided and separated.

Influence of Stake Holders
Engagement of Stake Holders
Knowledge of Stake Holders

Despite being in a high position of power, we decided as a group that politicians and policy makers were not in tune with mental health issues. Funding cuts we believe deter the development of services that are needed to help the community educate and prevent the progression of mental illnesses. Individuals, NGO’s and educators were the main stake holders that played a key part in the issue as these entities were able to connect to individuals on a more personal level. Social media did not have a high rating in terms of knowledge but we believed that it has the influence to change individuals perspective on mental health issues as well as engage with them on a more personal level. There are many movements going through social media including the 22 Push Up Challenge which brings awareness to the deaths of veterans due to suicide from mental health issues to #ItsOkayToTalk which promotes the idea that encouraging conversation about mental health and suicide could reduce the stigma that prevents men from speaking up about their ordeal.

Despite there being many stake holders within the issue of mental health, a lot of those in positions that can help create greater change are not doing much. Despite the growing concerns and deaths to mental illness, I haven’t been able to see mental health care services advertising or promoting the discussion of mental health.



It’s Hardly Noticeable XX

Keedy (2014)

“It’s Hardly Noticeable” is a series of photographs taken by John William Keedy. Keedy has documented his personal experience with anxiety and his troubles with accepting it. This particular photograph highlights that his struggles with anxiety were not purely psychological but also physical. Keedy has noted that this photograph is the most personal and most nervous. He recounts how his illness made it difficult for him to reach out to people. Despite wanting to talk to friends and meet them, there was something physical that was keeping him back. The image captures the pain that people with anxiety have to go through to do the simplest of tasks. This image reminds us that people with mental illness’ have difficulties doing everyday tasks and they themselves don’t know why its not possible. Representing this psychological effect as a physical pain, the audience is able to understand a little more about the experience of anxiety.


Idling Life Cause/Feeling Suicidal

Honaker (2015)

“Idling Life Cause/Feeling Suicidal” captures a man, waist deep in a lake, holding onto a white balloon. This photograph is a series that embodies Edward Honaker’s experience with depression and anxiety. Honaker features in the photographs however his face is covered or blurred within the series to convey the helplessness felt by someone who is battling a depressive disorder.

“Your mind is who you are, and when it doesn’t work properly, it’s scary”

This black and white photograph capture the conflicting emotions felt by those suffering from mental illness’. Despite being waist deep in the lake, he holds onto the white balloon, surrendering to the troubles but simultaneously silently calling for help. The stillness of the water is juxtaposed to the racing thoughts within the mind. These photographs also like many articles or books, act to break the stigma surrounding mental illness and encourages those who are currently suffering to seek help.


“I am going to cry and then I will stop but then I will do some more later”

Ruby (2015)

Ruby, known as rubyetc, has drawn comics that reflect her ‘illxperiences’ with mental health issues and bipolar disorder. Drawing these comics was a way of relief for the feelings she could not verbalise. The comics are real and sometimes vulgar, as she presents her experiences with out any type of sugar coating. This way she hopes that people can reading will relate and laugh too. Although her drawings are simple, her forms and facial expressions alongside the short text creates stories that we can all relate to. The above comic highlights the idea of emotion and the inevitability of the ups and downs. The way she has written the text also presents the idea of crying as another aspect that needs to be done like eating breakfast or buying the groceries. Unlike scholarly articles or blogs, these images contain humour, something i think people are afraid to do when it comes to mental illness as it is a sensitive issue. The reason why these images are so effective, I feel is because Ruby has her own first hand experience and tries to channel this in a humorous form.


“Do Mentally Ill People ’Scare’ You?”

Emma (2014)

Emma from ‘The Madvocate’ has created a series of thought-provoking images by placing Google searches of mental illnesses onto images of famous people who had them. The negative stereotypes and misconceptions shows the audience how society views mental illness and highlights the strength of the stigma that surrounds this issue. Juxtaposing these thoughts and comments upon faces of worldly successful and recognisable people, she breaks the stereotype and shows the audience how wrong these preconceptions of mental illness are. These images show just how difficult it is for people with mental illness to seek help due to these negative comments and thoughts. Although she is not a mental health professional, she has her own personal experience with mental health issues and likes to talk and write about mental illness. She shares her own writing and resources about mental health on her blog.


Mental Disorders are not Adjectives

Gallop (2015)

This image shows the current situation of mental illness. The use of these terms being used lightly does not make it easier for people experiencing these mental illness’ as it brings down the seriousness. This image was found on a blog that also makes note of the comments that people make in terms of dealing with mental illness. Comments like “You have a great life and other people have it worse” and “Just don’t think about it”, don’t help at all and shows how ignorant society is when it comes to mental illness. People are not adequately educated about mental illness despite the fact that more and more people are suffering. This image shows why we should talk more about mental health and start seeking ways to help those that are experiencing troubles with mental health.


PET Scan of the Brain

Jayan (2013)

This image is a comparison of brain activity between someone who has depression and someone that does not. Despite the obvious difference between the two images, people still continue to think that mental illness’ are not ‘real’. This image shows the scientific representation of mental illness and definitely shows that those suffering from mental heath issues can’t ‘just get over it’. This image proves that more research needs to be done to find out mental health; its causes and effective treatments.


What’s Playing on your mind?

KK Oulet (2010)

This image is a series of photographs made by KK Outlet that highlights the benefits of being mindful. The brief was to ‘come up with a poster campaign to help the public understand the invaluable benefits of mindfulness, a simple and modern form of meditation that alleviates stress’. These photographs acts to possibly be an form of early intervention and prevention of mental health issues from developing. I feel as though this advertisement acts as a form of encouragement to those wanting to speak about their mental health issues; promotes people to seek help and reassures that it is okay. Education is a key factor to help deal with mental health issues and possibly reduce the number of people effected.


The Mirage of Psychiatric Drugs

Ucini (2016)

This illustration depicts the facade that psychiatric drugs help ‘fix’ mental illness. Taking these drugs are one form of treatment and is not necessarily the best. There is a misconception that taking these drugs is will treat individuals; as simple as taking one pill. However this is not the case as mental illness’ are more complex. Treating mental illness is different for everyone and treatment is multifaceted. Psychiatric drugs can be effective however the underlying cause of the mental illness needs to be addressed. Treating those with mental illness’ needs to be done with long term success in mind.


You are not Al(one)

Maasik (2014)

The images used here work to bring awareness to mental health and reduce the stigma associated with it. The colourful and unique portraits were created to prevent social exclusion of those with mental illness and encourage those to seek help and assistance from mental health services. The portraits are metaphors that bring to mind adjectives when one feels anxious or depressed. These images represents the feelings of those with mental health issues in a playful way to stir curiosity and attention; something that is needed for mental health. This campaign personalises the issue and makes the audience think.


I am… But my name is…

Chang (2013)

This ad is a general awareness campaign for Coast Mental Health that deals with fighting the stigma of mental illness. The image represents the idea that often a mental illness can take over the identity of the person which then stops surrounding people from approaching individuals. These images are direct and confronting as they place a name and face to their illness. This campaign represents the courage of the people experiencing mental illness as they admit they have an illness yet it does not define them. The individuals within the photographs are of different age, ethnicity and gender which represents the idea that anyone is susceptible to mental health issues.




Chang, C. 2013, I am… (But my name is…), Behance, viewed 25 August 2016 <>

Gallop, M. 2015, Anxiety and Depression 101, The Odyssey Online, viewed 25 August 2016 <;

Gavin, M. 2010, KK Outlet creative team and photographer Rob Murray create winning UK Poster Campaign for Mental Health Foundation, The Romaing Eye, viewed 25 August 2016 <>

Jayan, N. 2013, PET Scan of the Brain May Predict Treatment Outcome in Depression, MedIndia, viewed 25 August 2016 <;

Maasik, K. 2014, You Are Not Al(one), Behance, viewed 25 August 2016 <>

Warren, R. 2014, Do Mentally Ill People ‘Scare’ You?, Upworthy, viewed 25 August 2016 <;

Schuster, S. 2015, Fiesty comics about mental illness we can all relate to,  The Mighty, viewed 25 August 2016 <;

Singh, M. 2014. A Life of Anxiety Documented, NPR, viewed 25 August 2016 <;

Tempesta, E. 2015, Photographer suffering from depression capture his Mental Illness in haunting Series of self-portraits to raise awareness for the disorder, Daily Mail, viewed 25 August 2016 <;

Ucini, A. 2016, The Mirage of Psychiatic Drugs Editorial Illustration, Behance, viewed 25 August 2016 <

On Your Mind

Black and white photographs of individuals suffering from mental illness were transformed using Processing (Manchester 2009)


POST 4 // Identifying and Collecting a Design Example

By Eugenie Park


(Manchester 2009)


“On Your Mind” is a poster campaign for the mental health organisation, Northpoint Wellbeing, created by design studio, McCann Manchester.

North point Wellbeing Limited is a registered charity that helps people experiencing emotional distress. These posters were created to be found in doctors’ surgeries, clinics, student halls and other suitable locations throughout Northpoint.

These posters combine black and white photography, taken by Steve Deer, and Processing done by Ryan Alexander, also known as Scloopy. The faces are made of strings of text which recounts the types of issues people have discussed at Northpoint as well as issues and thoughts that should be talked about. Richard Irving, creative partner at Manchester, has stated that further plans are in action to create a ‘live’ version for web and possibly cinema commercial.

“The software takes the image and draws little lines all over it. The tips of the lines look for brightness in the image. It acts like a fungus and grows in real time to produce the finished result. No two images are ever the same, even if the same info is used.”


(Manchester 2009)
(Manchester 2009)


This project was interesting to research as it incorporates data collection and visualization in a new medium. The thoughts of individuals that have come through Northpoint have been documented as well as the professionals and their thoughts on seeking help.

Northpoint has thought about creative ways to get individuals to come seek counselling. I think that these posters break the barrier of talking about mental illness in a creative way as the image is created though words and thoughts.




Burgoyne, P. 2009, “Processing Thoughts,” Creative Review, 18 November, viewed 22 August 2016

Scholarly Secondary Sources

“To be creative, you have to think differently. And when we are different, we have tendency to be labelled strange, crazy and even insane” (Steffanson 2015) Image (Honaker 2015)



POST 2 //  Building Expertise Using Scholarly Secondary Sources

By Eugenie Park


After developing a broad understanding of the current situation of mental health, I began to think about the stigma of mental health and questioned whether there was anything positive came out of mental illness. And so I decided to look further into the relationship between mental health and creativity. By researching peer reviewed articles, I was able to find more detailed information from reliable and credible sources.


The Relationship Between Creativity and Mood Disorders – Nancy Andreasen

Nancy Andreasen is an American neuroscientist and neuropsychiatrist that has conducted numerous studies about mental health. She is an expert of the field, writing numerous articles on the issue. Andreasen finds that there is a strong association between creativity and mood disorders however admits that the overall literature that supports the association is reasonably weak. She addresses the issues and challenges in conducting studies from trouble defining creativity to a lack of control groups. The relationship between mental illness and creativity is still unknown however Andreasen continues to research, highlighting that there is more to be done.


Creativity and Mental Illness – Arline Kaplan

“Creativity and Mental Illness” is an article found in the Psychiatric Times, written by Arline Kaplan. Kaplan is an expert in the field with many articles written and published on mental health. This article discusses the large-scale registry and brain imaging studies being explored to link creativity and psychopathology. Kaplan discusses the lack of empirical evidence between the two notions, stating that earlier studies could have been small or were done retrospectively. Instead Kaplan focuses on brain imaging and activity to find further links between mental illness and creativity. Originality and schizotypy showed similar functional brain activity patterns during creative ideation which supports the argument that similar mental processes may be associated in creativity and in psychosis risk.


Reading through these scholarly articles helped me to understand the notion of mental illness and creativity from a more scientific and academic point of view. The results from most studies have been argued to be weak, however there are elements, whether big or small, that link the two notions. I think it would be interesting to research further into the scientific elements and analysis of the relationship.




Andreasen, N. 2008, “The Relationship Between Creativity and Mood Disorders”, Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, pp. 251-255

Casely, L. 2015, “A Photographer Uses His Craft To Depict His Experience With Depression”, Viralnova, viewed 16 August 2016 <;

Kaplan, A. 2014, “Creativity and Mental Illness”, Psychiatric Times, pp.27

Sample, I. 2015, “New study claims to find genetic link between creativity and mental illness”, The Guardian, viewed 16 August 2016 <;


Data Set of Secondary Source

In each year, approximately 1 in every 5 Australians will experience a mental illness (Correll 2016)


POST 1 // Creating a Data Set using Secondary Sources

By Eugenie Park


In each year, approximately one in every five Australians will experience a mental illness. Despite this, not much is known about mental health nor is it openly talked about.

Mental Health is an issue that is of growing concern whether it effects you directly or indirectly through a close family member or friend. I have chosen to research into this topic as I want help spread awareness, and to do this I must first learn about and understand the issue.


The War Within: Why are our returned soldiers killing themselves? – Ruth Lamperd

Ruth Lamperd is an Award-winning journalist that is currently the Senior Journalist at the Herald and Weekly Times. Lamperd has written many controversial articles, some that contain months of investigation and research. This article in particular addresses the suicide death of military service men due to mental health issues and the hardships faced by the families left behind.

Lamperd has undergone extensive investigation for the article interviewing countless ex-military families, gathering stories and statistics, in order that she may bring greater awareness about the mental illness’ ex-military individuals face and the families that have to deal with the hardships.

This article has been well researched and embodies Lamperd’s surprise and dismay with her findings. She highlights the lack of support from the Australian Defence Force and Department of Veterans’ Affairs, despite the alarming number of deaths to suicide.


Mental Illness is More Than Just Depression and Anxiety – Emily Reynolds

Emily Reynolds is a freelance journalist that has written for Huck Magazine, New York Magazine, Wired UK and VICE. Mental health is an issue that she regularly writes about, and is currently working on her first book called ‘A Beginners Guide to Losing Your Mind’, which is an exploration of mental illness from a personal account of what it is like to live with poor mental health as well as a guide to dealing with and understanding it. This specific article deals with the stigma of mental health and the more ignored mental illnesses such as psychosis and schizophrenia.

Reynold has first hand experience with mental illness and so when reading her articles, I could see her passion to bring awareness to all aspects of mental health. She states within the article ‘It helps to talk’ and that is exactly what she is doing; talking about the more silent issue of psychosis. Event though she may not be a doctor or a psychologist, her own mental health issues, makes her an expert; she is able to draw upon her own experiences and give advice and guidance.

The article is well researched as she incorporates statistics and studies and logically draws that the media is the reason why psychosis is perceived with such negativity. I agree with the Reynolds, as crimes and mass killings are blamed on individuals suffering from psychosis.


The Key to Effectively Treating Mental Illness: Eliminate the Stigma – Mike Billings

Mike Billings is the managing editor for UCSF’s main web and social media channels. He has previously worked at Dow Jones as an editor covering the venture-capital industry. Many of his articles cover issues and research to do with health and science. This particular article discusses the stigma behind mental illness and how it effects those seeking help and treatment.

Billings has written this article to highlight the negative impact of self-stigmatisation due to societies views on mental illness. Self-stigmatisation in individuals leads to ineffective treatment as patients do not engage themselves in the treatment and therefore their symptoms are not treated. Alongside this the shortage of mental health exacerbates the issue.

Although Billings may not be an expert in psychology or mental health, I do agree with his opinion that more needs to be done about the patients not seeking help with their mental illness and the poor mental health system. Billing’s opinions are backed by individuals with first-hand experience of the system. Policy changes, better understanding and humanisation of the illness are some actions that can remove the stigma around mental illness.


The Relationship Between Creativity and Mental Illness – Maria Popova

Maria Popova is a writer, blogger and critic known for her blog She reads multiple pieces of writing a day and then features the best on the website, covering culture, books and eclectic subjects off and on the internet. She has also written for The Atlantic, Wired UK, Good Magazine and The Huffington Post. This article discusses the book ‘The Creating Brain’ written by Nancy Andreasen.

Popova has stated that she aims to publish material that is meaningful and timeless. Although not being an expert in mental health, she has written several posts on the topic and due to her knowledge on a wide range of issues, she is able to compare writings and highlight key issues.

Popova deconstructs Andreasen’s work, discussing ideas that she finds interesting, which could in turn be biased as she selectively includes elements of the book. However, the writings of Andreasen are factual as she undertakes a study to determine whether creatives suffer from mental illness. With the help of first person interviews (which was a crucial point of differentiation from other studies) she was able to analyse the findings and conclude that the subjects were creative despite their illnesses.


New Study Claims to Find Genetic Link Between Creativity and Mental Illness – Ian Sample

Ian Sample is a science editor at the Guardian. He has previously worked as a journalist at New Scientist as well as the Institute of Physics as a journal editor. Sample has written numerous articles on health and science and has a PhD in biomedical materials from the University of London.

Sample has written this article to after a study by deCODE, a genetics company based in Reykjavik, found that those who are creative are on average, 25% more likely to carry the genetic factors that raise the risk of mental illness. This articles is based on facts, as it recounts details of the study that was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

However, Sample also includes the opinions of Albert Rothenberg, a professor of Psychiartry at Harvard University, who states that there is no good evidence between the two. Sample writes both of positions, giving examples that support both sides of the argument. I agree with Sample in that the link between the two, mental illness and creativity, is more complex than yes or no.


From reading these articles, I found that a lot of the issues were linked together. I think it would be interesting to look further into:

  • Mental illness and its stigma within society which leads to a lack of awareness
  • The importance of early intervention and support groups in treating mental illness to reduce the rate of suicide
  • Whether there is a relationship between creativity and mental illness and why.




Billings, M. 2016, “The Key to Effectively Treating Mental Illness: Eliminate the Stigma,” UCSF, 9 August, viewed 14 August 2016

Correll, G. 2016 “#Mentalillnessfeelslike”, Pinterest, viewed 14 August 2016 <;

Lamperd, R. 2016, “The War Within: Why are our returned soldiers killing themselves?”, The Sunday Herald Sun, 13 Aug, viewed 14 August 2016

Popova, M. 2014, “The Relationship Between Creativity and Mental Illness”, Brain Pickings, 21 July, viewed 14 August 2016

Reynolds, E. 2016, “Mental Illness is More Than Just Depression and Anxiety”, The New York Magazine, 12 Aug, viewed 14 August 2016

Sample, I. 2015, “New Study Claims to Find Genetic Link Between Creativity and Mental Illness”, The Guardian, 9 June, viewed August 2016