It brings together psychologists from the community (led by Dr Gareth Furber) with 3rd Year Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) students at UniSA to develop unique methods for communicating mental health and wellbeing concepts to the broader community.
Led by course coordinator Doreen Donovan and lecturers Lynda Kay, Chris Thornton, and adjunct mentor Rita Siow, student design teams are briefed by Dr Furber and then tasked to develop concepts and design prototypes of visual communication tools that could be used to communicate complex psychological ideas to select demographics in the Australian community. They are assisted in this process by participating psychologists, from different backgrounds, who dedicate their time to teach the student groups about different mental health concepts.
Topics tackled by student groups include:
- What do we mean by ‘quality of life’?
- What is mental health first aid, and how can I learn to better support others if they have mental health issues?
- How can I proactively manage stress and maintain wellness in order to buffer myself against life’s difficulties?
- How do we teach people to become behaviour change experts in their own lives?
- How do I know what normal emotions are and how should I deal with them?
- Experiential avoidance – what is it and how does it affect us in our everyday life?
With the kind support of The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, student projects are exhibited annually during Mental Health Week at the Kerry Packer Gallery, in the Hawke Building at UniSA. We then work with our partners and supporters to try and take the student projects to the next level of development: from concept to reality.
To promote collaboration between the disciplines of psychology and communication design.
To work with partners and supporters to turn some of the student projects into products and campaigns ready for market.
To develop generations of communication designers who have experience in working on mental health related projects.
To inspire mental health clinicians and researchers to consider bringing designers. into their projects to enhance the quality of efforts to communicate with the broader community.
To inspire individuals to study design or psychology at the University of South Australia.