From http://rubyetc.tumblr.com/tagged/mh (ht Pauline)
First thing that happens during our first ever community meeting online is that the technology doesn’t work. What follows is a hilarious 1.5 hr conversation conducted via a combination of voice, sign language, lip reading and chat.
We were joined by @Pauline and @Omri_Kaufmann from UDK Berlin, @Costantino and @ChiaraFrr in Milano, @Nadia and a new community member - Christina whose mission with The Meraki People is to restore and preserve the cultural heritage of mount Parnonas in Greece by turning it into a green production and cultural oasis.
In our intros we discovered most of us approach mental wellbeing in terms of how to make support more accessible - by inventoring and designing solutions, by opening up a conversation. I saw two big strands in the conversation that can inform our search:
A. Is it safer for an online conversation to only deal with the soft side of mental health? That is, exclude suicide and death?
Noemi mentioned how deep suicide is in Ireland both among males and females, as well as it is underreported - it’s not even ranking top in Europe (like former Soviet countries). Pauline added that in Sweden, suicide is the most common cause of death in people between 18-35. Costantino said this was dangerous to approach in OpenCare, even though we know it’s increasingly being flagged in the tech activist sector (see re:Publica session Hacking with Care).
Team JUS was on board! They’re working on design that explores vulnerability: We want to research objects that people are handling or certain gestures they are doing while in therapy. Can we find a certain patterns in these behaviours or interactions? Maybe we can do something with it? We found in the interviews/chats we started with our peers as well that it was very difficult for them to open up. We also had some observations how to create a sharing environment
Their design will most probably involve
- Human connection - "if you just throw your thoughts in the air without any feedback it is less interesting than if you are sharing with people with whom you have an intimate relationship" (Nadia).
- Some external tokens to facilitate this, like objects (bridging connection between repetitive gestures and calming yourself down); maybe space (pop-up confession booths).
B. Or should we really push ourselves over the edge and experiment? Is there relief in black humor?
This can be simply by asking people on the streets How are you? and then “Really, how are you?”. More advanced versions include drawing inspiration from funeral traditions involving celebrations of sorts thru drinks, food, but also social grieving (Eastern Europe, Jewish culture, Italy, Germany were mentioned). … for the rest I will have to let the notes speak as I won’t do them justice)
N: How would you design for maximum inappropriateness. What are the most inappropriate jokes you can make in a situation where someone is in pain? How do you piss people off at a Jewish funeral? How to make the grieving person forget about their sorrow and want to kill you instead?
N: Because there is some relief in black humour.
P: i love it. dealing with depression through humor and showing your feelings
O: How do we choose who to talk to?
O: I would talk to someone who had a similar experience and can connect with me and understand me.
N: Anonymous emotionalists. “let the crazy out in small pieces- not all at once”. XYKD did a fantastic comic on depression https://www.reddit.com/r/depression/comments/14txdv/xkcd_honest/
O: 1 I would also talk to someone i know very little or not at all
“What made you understand that you were depressed”?
N: My partner said I should probably take a shower.
P: but that’s important too! finding the right kind of treatment; therapy varies alot depending on the person too, the treatment guy
N: Inability to take any decisions. Decision to not go to shrink. Just getting stuck.
P: the scale of our project is probably much smaller than the whole conversation you are interested in having on Edgeryders right?
P: dark horse is there also
C: this track to do with emotions and mind etc can be a long term track within opencare;
Imperfect, super unreliable tools and unsuitable places to kill yourself.
Homeopathic poison pill