The goal of this project is to raise awareness of mental wellness in middle-aged women through Service Design. By definition, good mental health is fundamental to our collective and individual ability as humans to think, emote, interact with each other, earn a living and enjoy life.
But when the privilege of this ability to function as a normal human is taken away from a person, it becomes incredibly difficult to deal with it, and the person may feel trapped because their illness is misunderstood and hidden. This is the reality of many who face mental illnesses. Unfortunately, for some who are not even aware about mental illnesses, it becomes even more difficult. This project talks about two things, women and their mental health. The aim is to identify gaps in the existing healthcare system, understand where problems stem from and what role can design play in addressing some of these gaps. The ages between 40-55 are a turning point for many women due to biological and interpersonal changes. Taking care of their mental health, at this age, becomes pivotal. Mental illnesses that manifest in this age, if untreated, lead to complicated problems in old age, and sometimes it is too late to fix them. This project proposes solutions that helps create awareness about mental wellbeing and good mental hygiene, as awareness is the first step towards change.
The chosen problem area has many variables, and one may describe it as a complex socio-technical problem. There is no clear solution and there is no ‘finite’ solution to such a problem. However, this project, in good faith, tries to break down these complexities, and by scoping down a specific cohort (i.e., middle aged women), it tries to solve one problem at once. This project also uses service design as an approach as it gives the flexibility to work with multiple stakeholders, create non-linear user journeys, work across multiple touchpoints - and all in all, it helped in breaking down the complexity of this problem area.
Moreover, this project also uses the Transtheoretical Model of Behaviour Change, as a guideline to facilitate positive behaviour change, i.e., the middle aged woman taking care of her mental health. The motivation to choose this model is detailed out in the report, but in a nutshell, it helped to further bring down the complexity of this problem area.
This report encompasses the entire research and design process. I first narrowed down to a Target Group, then gained insights from their lives with respect to mental health. Next, I looked at existing work, both, in research and enterprise, and once I had sufficient data, I used tools of service design to ideate, design and prototype some of the concepts. Lastly, the concepts were tested with the users and further work has been detailed out.
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• Service Design for Mental Wellness......