The OK Collective

Print
Class Project
May 2018

A portrait book that I created for a senior project. Along with the printed book, this project also contains a system of posters, handouts, a responsive website, and social media.

The OK Collective

Print
Class Project
May 2018

A portrait book that I created for a senior project. Along with the printed book, this project also contains a system of posters, handouts, a responsive website, and social media.

RESEARCH

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 18% of the American population suffer from anxiety disorders. Nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Even though everyone knows at least one person with a mental illness (whether they’re open about it or not) there’s still a huge stigma about mental illness.

An article by Psychology Today states that in 1999 the U.S. Surgeon General labeled stigma as perhaps the biggest barrier to mental health care; this stigma manifests particularly in a phenomenon known as social distancing, whereby people with mental issues are more isolated from others.

Using this information, I narrowed it down to these people that I would be designing for:

  1. Main Persona: A young person with a mental illness looking for a supportive community to relate to
  2. Loved ones of people with mental illness who might not fully understand it
  3. Educators who can give this resource to whoever they're teaching

CHALLENGES

  1. How can I make this project personal and genuine rather than fake and sterile?
  2. How can I raise awareness about this so other people can get involved?
  3. How can I connect people further once they're at the main attraction?

SOLUTION TO CHALLENGE 1

Create a book out of interviewing real people with mental illness of multiple races, gender identities, sexualities, etc. and take portraits of them to put a face on this deeply personal issue.

SOLUTION TO CHALLENGE 2

Promote the book and its purpose via posters, handouts, and t-shirts in places like college campuses.

SOLUTION TO CHALLENGE 3

Keep people engaged through a website and social media so that people can connect with each other and share their own stories.

To view my entire process, as well as more in-depth web screens, my process book can be viewed here.