In the summer of 2013, the Central Student Association and the Wellness Centre, (along with other members of the University of Guelph) decided to collaborate their resources in the creation of a new Mental Health postcard to be distributed in the Health clinic areas. As the CSA’s Graphic Designer, I was asked to take care of the design (with input from the committee of course). I was given the current handout (a postcard depicting two hands joining puzzle pieces with the words “At the University of Guelph, We care about your Mental Health” — or something very similar.
I finally hit on the idea to depict the opposite of mental health — a brain in distress, was a huge step forward in my design process. Depicting health was so difficult, but the absence of health allowed for more flexibility — there are so many ways depression is experienced after all.The committee loved them, and asked for more words to be added, in order to represent the feelings that students had identified in a previously distributed survey on Mental Health. Those cards were created, but since it was impractical to have so many different cards all listing the same resources, I was asked to find a way to incorporate all the words in one brain rather than having to have about 20 different cards.
When Mental Health Awareness Week 2013 was noted to be coming soon, it was agreed that the original separated designs should be used for the campaign – with the 1in5 logo added to all materials. The designs were featured as posters, Facebook event covers, kiosk posters, banners, and more.
The following spring, the CSA was approached by the University of Guelph Administration, who asked if they could use the images on the University’s Mental Well-Being website.