Visualising Mental Health still going despite lockdown

Yesterday I (along with the other participating psychologists and design lecturers) spent the afternoon in various Zoom meetings with this year’s VMH students.

There were 17 meetings altogether over a 4 hour period!

In each meeting, teams of 4-6 students presented their 3 ideas for their chosen topic.

In previous years, these presentations were done live, but with social distancing restrictions, we had to do them via Zoom.

Turns out, it is actually a better way to do it.

I don’t know whether it is the relaxed nature of it, or whether we are just all getting better at teleconferencing, but every student presentation I saw was concise, clearly explained and easy to understand. I heard similar feedback from my psychology colleagues. There was something more intimate about students sharing their sketches and mockups in a way that we could look closely at them. Students also seemed more relaxed presenting in this format, versus the traditional stand-up Powerpoint presentation. They seemed more comfortable taking on feedback, and the process felt more like a discussion than a presentation.

On top of the fact that the process worked better, the quality of ideas for this year’s cohort look excellent.

I sat in mostly with student groups who had chosen my mental fitness topic. I was very pleased to see these groups hone in on the core feature of mental fitness, which is the development of habits that promote psychological improvement and growth.

I even got my first truck which made me squeal internally with delight. Yes, a truck. You’ll have to wait and see how that is related to mental health when the projects are revealed later.

A big thank you to the

  • lecturers (Doreen, Lynda, Lucas) for finding a way to organise 17 meetings in one afternoon
  • participating psychologists (Richard, Sarah, Rachel) for the generous provision of their time to help and advise the student groups
  • students for conducting themselves so professionally in the process and clearly investing time and effort in the ideas presented

Despite the uncertainty that pervades many aspects of our lives, it appears creativity is not one of the things we are losing.