I am Blue

This is a design project collaboration with Mind, mental health charity

in England and Wales. I am Blue is a educational workshop programme 

consists of animation and activities to help children understand their

feelings and emotions better and create a comfortable environment for maintaining mental wellbeing. 

This is a design project collaboration with Mind, mental health charity in England and Wales. I am Blue is a educational workshop programme consists of animation and activities to help children understand their feelings and emotions better and create a comfortable environment for maintaining mental wellbeing. 

In life, childhood is a fundamental stage for growth and development as you are constantly exposed to new stimuli, experiences and emotions. 

 

Usually during these stages the majority is spent in school. However, in school we are taught to read, write, speak and have good grades but never to deal with our feelings and thoughts. Schools are starting to address the issues around mental health, however it is still in the early stages so behavioural problems and health problems may still be going unnoticed. 

 

 

“In the curriculum there isn’t such a big focus on supporting them to be mentally healthy and develop their wellbeing” 

  

Dr Kim Miles, Child and Educational Psychologist.

 

There are major gap in the education system regarding mental health and wellbeing education. This lead to us realising that it’s really necessary to inject mental health education into the curriculum for children and for it to start at this age.

#How children view mental health 

#Wellbeing education

Workshop

‘Making Worry Monster’

with Art Club at

St Saviour’s CE Primary School

When we first introduced the idea of expressing and articulating how you feel or what’s going on in your mind with a class of 5-6 year olds, it was clear that they found it difficult to do so and few could define what a feeling or emotion was.

 

Nevertheless, with the aid of the activities we created, we began to unravel what the children were experiencing which transformed the relationships and interactions within the class. Additionally, the children can now recognise their own feelings as well as others and want to/are able to act positively on them. 

During the interviews we had for research, a lot of the people who had

experienced or are experiencing mental illnesses, mentioned it was

hard for them to explain how they felt and so they found it difficult to

talk to others about it. 

During the workshop with the children, we noticed that the method

of articulating their mental health without words such as drawing helped 

children to explain themselves more comfortably than direct explanation. 

Therefore, we explored more about ‘visualising narratives’ and combined

animation technique with it.

During the interviews we had for research, a lot of the people who had

experienced or are experiencing mental illnesses, mentioned it was hard for

them to explain how they felt and so they found it difficult to talk to others

about it. 

During the workshop with the children, we noticed that the method of

articulating their mental health without words such as drawing helped 

children to explain themselves more comfortably than direct explanation. 

Therefore, we explored more about ‘visualising narratives’ and combined

animation technique with it.

#Narratives and visualization

#Animation technique

How Children View Mental Health  +  Playful Aesthetic  +   Narrative and Visualisation

#Keywords

‘I am Blue’ is a programme designed to encourage and educate children from the ages of 5-7, to feel capable of voicing their feelings and emotion.  

This program started from visualising people’s mental health and tried to raise people’s awareness of mental illnesses in a playful way, engaging with and educating children through creative means. Also, it bridges the gap between the outside which is community, home, and the inside which is the children themselves.

Blue at School

Blue at Home

We’ve created a few different characters which represent general feelings

such as angry, sad, happy, and nervous.

 

Through this interactive animation, children can see Blue (sad child)

experiencing some difficulties at school and home. By discussing about 

Blue's feeling and interactively choose Blue's reaction to situation, 

the children can better understand how they might respond themselves in real life situation.

We’ve created a few different characters which represent general feelings

such as angry, sad, happy, and nervous.

 

Through this interactive animation, children can see Blue (sad child) experiencing some difficulties at school and home. By discussing about Blue’s feeling and interactively choose Blue’s reaction to situation, the children can better understand how they might respond themselves in real life situation.

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Sketch

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Our focus is to insert mental health and wellbeing education into the curriculum, by creating a stigma free safe community where these conversations can take place.

This has been proven to be worthwhile by the workshops we have carried out in schools. Although effective at initiating the conversations, there are still so many opportunities for furthering this.

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