Scrapping the Web

Blog Post 6 by Wiana Inthapanya

TWITTER

The use of data scraping tools are interesting mediums to search for specific content from the internet. Scraping the web for such specific data is useful to see the social outcomes of your focused area and what thoughts are being generated in today’s media.

After my probe, I wanted to explore more about the affects of mental health on university students. From personal experiences, I use to update my social media status depending on my random mood swings of being stressed and under pressure from my years at uni. I actually wondered if I was the only one who did this as a method of relief and procrastination.

Using the advanced search tool on Twitter, I was able to find the current issues on mental health on university students and their social status updates.

 

  • I can honestly say that this minor exercise was actually quite an enjoyable one as it opened by eyes to realise that I was not the only over whelmed student emotionally expressing my thoughts to the world. Even though today I don’t express myself on the internet as much as I use to when I initially started uni, these status updates certainly still resonates with me today as I could understand how they feel
  • This search provides me with an understanding that factors such as work, personal life, relationships and social commitments are highly valued by individuals due to the amount of anxiety that is expressed in these concerns. These factors may contribute to the stress build up that affects the mentality of university students
  • Most of the posts are from students who are about to commence their uni semester and are already under this so much pressure on their first week. This determines the level of anxiety on people and how sensitive they are to stress

From here, I want to further investigate how many tweets there actually were regarding stress and anxiety in university students. To be able to do this, my next advance search of scrapping the web for data required me to download an archiver using Google Spreadsheets that connected to the world of Twitter. This tool allowed me to narrow down my search further with accuracy. Below were my results.

 

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This image shows the three main hashtags I’ve utilised to search for the data. All data using the hashtags #university, #stressed and #exams were located on twitter. With such a broad search rule, 8785 tweets were found.

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I then narrowed it down to those same specific hashtags, however set the location to Sydney and created another rule where only the tweets that were retweet more than 5 times would show up. This allowed me to further refine the results which interestingly dropped to just 11 data sources! It’s amazing what you can do with advance searches and data tools!

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And lastly, I removed the location rule to reveal all the tweets from Australia using the same hashtags. In total, there were 221 tweets regarding university stress. Out of the 221, only 11 tweets were from Sydney alone.

 

program: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/twitter-archiver/pkanpfekacaojdncfgbjadedbggbbphi?hl=en

 

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My Pivotal Moment

Blog Post 10 by Wiana Inthapanya

My research initially started off with a broad investigation into mental health but quickly transformed into a journey of personal realisation where I was able to resonate with the content I discovered each week.

My pivotal moment was through my interview with another student where I was able to discuss with her our personal experiences on mental health as university students and the underlying stress that affects us daily. We were both able to resonate with the daily struggles of committing to work, business and our social lives whilst still maintaining our full-time studies.

I therefore decided to focus on mental health in design Students. The issue arises where students are so involved with their work, personal life and relationships to meet social expectations that most people begin to experience anxiety. This affects their way of thinking and interferes with their creative process – this is also known as the Creative Block.

 

Proposition:
My proposition is to raise awareness of mental health in design students at UTS in an attempt to break the stigma and prevent the after math of creative block that could lead to anxiety and depression in students.

My aim is to create a game that focuses on creative productivity to simulate the mind and produce a positive upward mood. The app consist of mini creative games. For instance, one game involves moving around 4 geometric shapes of different sizes and colour to construct a given object. The idea of the game is to increase mental stimulation and creativity whilst also providing building blocks to establish a design foundation that could potentially enhance your way of thinking.

 

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This is a rough prototype of the game app

Issue Mapping

Blog Post 7 by Wiana Inthapanya
Another mapping exercise took place during our studio session with the collaborative participation of my group members. The aim of this exercise was to draw out relatable keywords to the theme of Mental Health under the categories of barriers, people, representations, assistance, issues, politics and emotional behaviour.
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This was our result from a quick 15 minutes of brainstorming. The idea of creating a brainstorm of ideas around the table allowed all users to get involved simultaneously. This unraveled different opinions and we were able to bounce off information from one another.
The things I have learnt from collaborative group work from not only in today’s session but the previous weeks of mapping include:
  • Being introduced to scenarios from different perspectives. An example of this was one of the group member’s high interest on the increasing numbers of mental health in people living in rural NSW. This issue arose due to the increase in housing affordability forcing people to move out of the suburban areas and into locations that are more affordable but carry issues of isolation leading up to depression as they are separated from loved ones and their normal life.
  • The discussions allow me to refine my understanding. I realised that sharing my opinions in person to my group has actually allowed me rephrase my ideas in a more composed manner because sometimes I find it difficult to express in my mind.
  • Sharing a knowledge of skills. There are so much more approaches to resolving and identifying issues relating to mental health. Undertaking these mapping exercises have allowed us to each week expand our knowledge on the field and come together to share our what else we learnt.
Towards the end of this task, all group members were able to decide on their proposition statement and their area of interest to further research for our next assessment process.

Possibilities for a Design Response

Blog Post 8 by Wiana Inthapanya

In week six’s studio session, we were prompted to individually respond to the questions of whowhatwhenwhere and why in relation to our chosen issue. This provided us a foundation to build our propositions and to identify the subjects involved. It was important to be specific with the questions as it allowed me to fine tune my proposition further for a clearer statement.

Who does the problem affect?

Mental Health can affect people of all ages, sex and demographics. I decided to focus my main concerns on adolescents and students in university. Aged between 18 to 24 year olds.

What are the boundaries of this issue?

  • Social pressure and expectations
  • Celebrities and social influencers
  • Workload and exams
  • Bullying/trouble at home
  • Perfectionist
  • Limit of time
  • Financial struggles

When does the problem occur?

University students often find themselves overly stressed during exam periods having to meet expectations of passing their subjects. Other issues may occur when they are lonely and don’t have anyone to rely on. Stress and anxiety generally triggers people at different stages as every individual is different.

Where does the problem occur?

I will be basing my proposition within Australia focusing on Australian university students. If I needed to be more specific to cater to a definitive data set, my location of choice would be Design students from University of Technology, Sydney.

Why is this issue important?

Although mental health prevention is greatly broadcasted today compared to many years ago, the stigma on mental health is still very common – especially in students. After reflecting back on my research, most students would not inform anyone unless they are asked. I think that it’s so common to fall stressed at university with assessment due dates and exams that it’s almost becoming a social norm in today’s society. Targeting, preventing and raising greater awareness will help break the stigma of mental health in university students so they don’t collapse in a more severe state of depression that may lead to suicide.

Draft Proposition

Targeting mental health concerns on students at University of Technology, Sydney to raise awareness and prevent severe depression & anxiety.

Interview with a patient

Post 5 by Wiana Inthapanya
Not many people understand living in the skin of a person suffering a mental illness. It is often a seamless identity and you may never know who is suffering from one. In week 4 I was incredibly lucky to interview another student who once suffered a mental illness. Her personal journey was captivating and it was interesting to hear it from another perspective.
The interview commenced with the question, ‘How many people do you personally know that suffer from a mental illness?’. The interviewee paused taking a deep breath and bravely admitted that she had been mildly affected by depression for many years. Being an international student, travelling away from family has affected her severely.
Imagine you are forced to move to another country that you have never been to. You are travelling alone and as soon as you land, the only presence awaiting your arrival is a piece of paper with your name on it.
The interviewee strongly believes that there is still a stigma today on mental illness. Especially around young teens and international students like herself who have no family members close by to rely on. She suggests the factor of loneliness being a major contribution to her sickness. According to Beyond Blue, Australia’s leading mental health organisation, the greatest key to treating a patient is the initial step of communication.
She stated that, not everyone has received adequate treatment for their condition. Through her experience, she was constantly prescribed with anti-depressant medications rather than undertaking personal counselling sessions. This suggests to me that, maybe this is actually a common problem that needs to be addressed. If people are receiving inadequate treatment, of course they would not return to be properly treated. It takes so much courage for a patient to express their concerns to someone, so the initial consultation should always be treated efficiently so that all patients feel comfortable to return.
Ending the interview I asked, “How can we benefit from a more positive outlook for others suffering from mental illness?”. Her suggestion was to communicate with close family members, friends and colleagues so that they are aware of your condition. And if they aren’t available, research into organisations and community centres that are able to help. You’re never suffering alone and most teens need to know that.
PROBE:
The probe for my interviewee to complete was to document examples of mental health campaigns such as posters, flyers, signs etc that they see on their daily travels.
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These were the results during the week where she constantly saw advertisements relating to mental illness prevention on her daily routine. On the radio, she heard an advertisement for Sane Forums that is an online organisation that aim to help people who suffer from a mental illness by encouraging them to talk about their condition anonymously. Another advertisement that she witnessed was on her lunch break to Hungry Jacks who greatly support the “R U OK” campaign. Their large scaled posters were described as being dominantly placed in areas of the stores such as the entrance, counter and drive through windows. They are difficult not to miss due to the bright yellow colour of their campaign that is designed to capture your attention. I think it is such a wonderful idea to have a large organisation such as Hungry Jacks supporting a mental health campaign aimed at helping people. The exposure through a large organisation is greater and the age of the audience various across all scales from children, adults and the elderly.
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The R U OK campaign was also evident on Facebook. My interviewee stated that, she didn’t realise that these advertisements were actually visible daily. You don’t realise until you’re actually searching for them.

Mental Health Campaigns

 POST 3 by Wiana Inthapanya
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Brainstorming sessions in class

This was our initial map of our understanding about Mental Health being categorised between Human Factors and Non Human Factors in week 4. Our idea of human factors indicated issues that related to the cause of mental health with the most prominent being human emotional factors such as insomnia, depression and sickness. The stakeholders involved at this initial stage of our understanding were mainly friends, family and colleagues.

The non human factors derived from our own personal experience that have affected aspects of our mental health that were unavoidable. Factors such as unemployment, alarming weather conditions affecting daily tasks and long stressful work shifts.

Continuing mapping in week 5…

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Assigning the most prominent words into categories

Keywords were established by the group in week 5 that related to Mental Health. This time with a greater understanding of our issue after researching from secondary resources for post 2.

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Stakeholders playing a role in mental health

We immediately noticed our increase of stakeholders relating to mental health compared to our task in week 4. The circle of friends, family and colleagues have expanded to government organisations, professionals and educational institutions.

After undertaking these mapping tasks, it has provided me greater possibilities to research more specific keywords relating to mental health. I also noticed that, the broader the words, the less specific the categories I was able to assign them to such as “Acknowledge”. Other words were able to be assigned into multiple categories and most words eventually connected.

10 Images

I have decided to focus on exploring images relating to mental health through advertisements and campaigns that have an attempt to educate the public to be more mindful of people with mental health conditions. As a designer, I think establishing a successful design to communicate the concept is vital. Here are some examples that influence my practice.

Image 1, 2 & 3: In our heads

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These striking advertisements are so powerful as they depict casual citizens in their daily environment with an emphasised head aiming to capture their troubling thoughts. The idea to have just the human body in the campaign allows the audience to imagine their own personal experience. I think this is a creative way of reaching out to patients as they’ve captured the issues from common everyday elements such as technology, relationships and work. (www.bemindful.co.uk)

 

Image 4: Hearing Voices

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Another smart campaign in an attempt to reach out to people who are suffering from mental illness that requires communication and professional help. However, people with mental health may find it difficult to seek help. I think this image is so well constructed that it has an emotional essence to it by having the whispering effect for a more soothing and subtle action. This creates a more private and intimate environment for the patient and may allow them to confide in others to seek help.

There is also a video on their website that aims to capture the noises one may hear if affected by paranoia. I personally think it sounds frightening however I also think that it was their aim so that people are more aware of the condition and the seriousness. (www.aminormal.org)

Image 5: Youth

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This campaign is aimed to target youth’s and their guardians by attempting to break the stigma of mental health. Children and teens often find it difficult to consult for help as they may feel embarrassed or alienated from their peers. This advertisement also aims to stop bullying which is a large factor of mental health in kids. I think this campaign is straight to the point and communicates the message strongly by having the child as the main focus. (www.obmh.nhs.uk)
Image 6: Mental Health in Men

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I think this is an interesting image as it aims to target men with mental illness. According to Beyond Blue, men account for 75% of deaths by suicide. This stigma is still clearly visible today as some males may find it more difficult to open up emotionally to people. This advertisement aims to break the stigma with an attempt to allow male patients to actively communicate their concerns. (mumbrella.com.au)

 

Image 7: In all seriousness

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An interesting campaign produced by Healthier Scotland aims to educate on the importance of mental health. As stated in my first blog post, Australian governments have decided to remove the mental health category in the parliament focusing mostly on funding physical health sectors. It is important to understand that mental health is just as important as our physical health and it needs to be addressed more strongly in our country. I personally think this is a great example of simple education for this concept that needs to be adapted in Australian campaigns. (Pinterest)

 

To be continued…

Breaking the Stigma

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Interactive Exhibition aiming to break the stigma of mental health in students
Post 4 by Wiana Inthapanya
University graduate Carley Cullen established the project, ‘Real Talk’ with an aim to connect students together and break the stigma of mental health. Her motivation for this project derived from her own personal struggles with anxiety for many years during her college years. Often students find it difficult to communicate their personal concerns on the topic without fear of judgement or discrimination. ‘Real Talk’ allowed students to anonymously express their struggles and emotions with anxiety and depression. The goal of this interactive design was to create a space for people to feel supported and break the stigma around mental health.

Project 1

The mediums Carley utilised were basic pen on paper. Her way of collating the stories together was to adapt a blue asnd white design that looks aesthetically pleasing to attract the audience to participate. Her opening statement of “I have anxiety because…” allows the viewers to engage and resonate with the topic.
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Project 2
Carley then gathered this data and visualised it in a form of large posters creating a story for the audience to read. Bold statements are written in blue and black text to emphasise the importance. Most of these statements have emotional value as Carley hoped that the audience could relate to them on a personal level.
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Project 3
Another interactive exhibition took place at the same setting using emotive language. Emojis were graphically drawn to symbolise the mood. The audience was then able to pinpoint on the spectrum which level of emotion they were feeling on the day. The medium for this project was utilising ink to create finger prints as the individual’s pinpoint mark. This gave a personalised depth to the project to establish human connection and interaction.
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Reference:
C, Cullen 2016, Real Talk, Interactive Exhibition, University of Iowa, USA.

Designing youth mental health services for the 21st century

 

Post 2: By Wiana Inthapanya

For my second post, I decided to further investigate what forms of mental health services were currently available to youths. An article by Patrick McGorry, Tony Bates and Max Birchwood indicated that the youth not only have the highest rate of mental illness, but they also manifest the worst service access of any age group.

“Only 21.8% of Australians between 16 and 24 years of age with a diagnosable mental disorder access professional help”.

The authors state that our existing health services are not providing appropriate care or access for young teens which could be the forefront of teens not wanting to reach out for help. The article stressed that, ’the world has changed dramatically in recent decades and young people are victims of these changes bearing the burden associated with them’. I think this statement is very much concerning. A major factor that may contribute to the non accessible facilities is the design of our metal healthcare system.
Both Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS) provide delay and heavily restricted access only to those with severe and complex disorders. These systems are apparently based on the 19th century asylum system and the child guidance model which have been fundamentally flawed. However organisations such as Headspace and Orygen Youth Health are now adapting changes to promote a new wave of mental health reform with Australian youths. Their principles and targets of healthcare system aims for a youth friendly, stigma free and holistic approach.
Meanwhile according to Stephen Allison of Sage Journals, Allison claims that the National Youth Mental Health Foundation ‘Headspace’ is under achieving. While acknowledging that Headspace is a well nationally recognised institution aimed at improving the mental health of young people, the National Mental Health Commission report indicated that their system model was inefficient with major problems in the organisation’s structure and governance. The issue arose from the process of duplicate Headspace centres establishing over the country without adequate planning and consultation. This resulted in competition with other community, private and state government services.
P, McGorry. T, Bates. M, Birchwood, 2013. Designing youth mental health services for the 21st Century, The British Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 202, no. 54, pp. s30 -s35, <http://bjp.rcpsych.org.ezproxy.lib.uts.edu.au/content/202/s54/s30&gt;
S, Allison, 2016. Australia’s national youth mental health initiative: is headspace underachieving?, Aust N Z J Psychiatry, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 111-112, <http://anp.sagepub.com.ezproxy.lib.uts.edu.au/content/50/2/111&gt;

 

 

The Importance of Youth Mental Health

 

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Painting by Alwy Fadhel. His works evoke the psychological hardships that he has faced a detainee including homesickness, anxiety, depression and the trauma of witnessing others committing acts of self-harm and suicide.
Post 1 – by Wiana Inthapanya

I decided to focus my concern on Mental Health as I believe the topic deserves greater recognition in today’s society. With family, friends and even myself once experiencing a mental illness – it is simply more than just a stigma that needs to be broken down.

According to Youth Beyond the Blue, 1 in 4 young Australians currently have a mental health condition with suicide being the most prominent killer of youths. This rate is higher than the amount of young adults killed in car accidents!

Breakdown: 324 Australians aged 15-24 dying by suicide in 2012. This compares to 198 who died in car accidents (Beyond Blue).

Author Erin Stewart of article, ‘Youth Mental Health: It doesn’t have to be like this’ in ABC’s Ramp Up discussion poll, states her concerns for the lack of government funding for mental health patients.

“In recent years, Australia has seen improved investment in youth mental health. Youth mental health researcher and advocate Professor Patrick McGorry leveraged his 2010 Australian of the Year win to put youth mental health in the public arena. The 2011 federal budget funded a moderate expansion in the number of headspace services in local communities. In contrast, however, the review into mental health promised by Tony Abbott at the 2013 election hasn’t happened to date.”

Despite the clear outbreak in mental health issues in young adults, Australia no longer as a mental health minister in federal politics. Mental health is a collapsed category tucked under the rug of other health concerns.

The author’s motivation to write this article was based on her own personal experience with mental illness. She claims that, there is a lack of awareness due to lack of education about how it really feels to live inside the skin of someone with mental illness.

My opinion on this corresponds as I think that there are organisations and social groups who focus on mental health concerns but from a personal perspective of someone who once suffered depression, there is certainly more to it than just seeing darkness like most television ads convey.

I also think that the stigma around mental illness has decreased over these years, but the tragedy that isn’t focused on is the concerns of young people who continue to suffer from mental illness despite years of psychological research. Will there one day be more help provided than just social group talks and repetitive medical prescriptions? Or will there be greater awareness for those who don’t even realise that they’re suffering from a mental illness before it’s too late to seek help.

My next point of discussion leads to the question of, why is mental health becoming a social norm in today’s society? Most individuals are able to identify several people close to them who suffer a mental illness and the bizarre thing is – it’s quickly becoming normal. Factors such as unemployment, lack of recognition, social status, experiences of trauma and isolation may be some of the keys factors leading up to mental health.

An updated podcast this morning announced that Malcolm Turnbull has released a statement indicating a new suicide and self-harm prevention trial in Townsville aimed at defence personnel, veterans and their families. The question raised in this scenario was, what about other defence jobs such as police, fire fighters and emergency services who face traumatic and similar issues? Don’t they deserve the same recognition and treatment?

Author of ‘Australia in the middle of “mental health crisis” with unnecessary deaths escalating’ in The Age speaks demands that, “We deserve the same level of care for our mental health as our physical health and we are getting nowhere near it”. The on-going outreach of deserving young Australians who require treatment on mental health is still a continuing issue today with the lack of government funding, resources and education.

Another topic of heat that sparked world conversation today is mental health in children. Being an active user on Facebook, there was a news article regarding a 13 year old boy who committed suicide due to bullying at school. Most people believe the stigma on mental health in kids have subsided. Perhaps it’s just another issue tucked under the carpet because it’s tragic how people need to be injured before political action takes place.

Bruce McDongall from The Daily Telegraph stated that, “Every Year 12 class in Australia has at least one student who has attempted suicide”. The author’s article is factual outlining suicide statistics in the country. He is in a position where the importance of mental health should not be ignored and believe stronger prevention campaigns and greater education is needed to remind people that mental health is still a serious concern in today’s society.

After reading these news articles and further exploring websites on mental health, I strongly agree with all the authors indicating that there is still a real and alarming issue on mental health today. It didn’t occurr to me that suicide in young adults is still at an increasing rate probably because I haven’t seen posters, campaigns or television ads based on these scenarios for sometime now. As a designer, I feel that it is a necessary part of my role to communicate these issues to the society to create a great impact on mental health awareness.

References:

E, Stewart. 2014, ABC Ramp Up Youth Mental Health: It doesn’t have to be like this, ABC, 14 April 2014, viewed 11 August 2016, <http://www.abc.net.au/rampup/articles/2014/04/14/3984981.htm&gt;
Beyond Blue. n.d, Stats and Facts on Mental Illness, viewed 11 August 2016, <https://www.youthbeyondblue.com/footer/stats-and-facts&gt;
B, Hall. 2015, Australia in the middle of a mental health crisis, The Age, viewed 11 August 2016, <http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/australia-in-the-middle-of-mental-health-crisis-with-unnecessary-deaths-escalating-20150916-gjnqpd.html&gt;
B, McDougall. Tragedy of tormented teenagers – mental health hits one in four, The Daily Telegraph, viewed 11 August 2016, <http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/tragedy-of-tormented-teenagers-mental-illness-hits-one-in-four/story-fni0cx12-1226693862582&gt;
L, Yaxkey. 2016, PM announces new suicide prevention trial, Podcast, The World Today, viewed 11 August 2016, <www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2016/s4516073.htm>
Image:
Fadhel, n.d, Psychosis, Painting, viewed 11 August 2016, <http://therefugeeartproject.com/home/coffee-paintings/&gt;