1 in 5 - Building Understanding and Awareness on Mental Health

1 in 5 | Building Understanding and Awareness on Mental Health
BFA Student: Essie Kim
Faculty Advisor:  Kristian Simsarian, Aynne Valencia

Storytelling has always remained one of the most innate and important forms of communication in all cultures around the world. All of us tell stories; we tell the story of our day, the story of our life, the stories about others, current events in the news. Our brains are hardwired to think and express in terms of a beginning, middle and an end. It’s how we understand the world.

We can use stories to build empathy and understanding on mental illnesses. To make this happen, I’ve created 1 in 5: a safe and anonymous space for people to tell their stories surrounding mental illnesses.

The space includes a user’s guide to the journey of the experience. In this guide, there are three questions to create a cohesive structure with the stories.

1. Write about your journey with mental illness. Reflecting on your journey can be cathartic for you, and you may also help someone feel like they are not alone.

2. What has helped you in your journey? Everyone has different experiences with mental illness, but sharing what has helped you understand and cope may help someone else who is struggling.

3. Any words of hope or encouragement? If you’re unsure what to write, consider this: How would you encourage your younger self?

The space exists in two forms: as a booth in a physical space, and as a website online. The physical space creates a private and intimate space for the writer to reflect on their journey, while the website extends this project beyond the booth.