Design approaches to current mental health crises among teens
Heavy Mental is based on the outcome of three finalized research projects that complement each other:
In the first phase, with the support of ZHAW and Pro Juventute, comprehensive design-ethnographic research was conducted on the motives that shape how adolescents and young adults deal with mental crises today.
In the second phase, the applied research, a prototype was designed with the participation of adolescents and young adults that responds to the their expressed needs.
In the third phase, prototypical realization and implementation, the prototype of the app Heavy Mental was developed. It is available to download for iOS in the app store since the beginning of 2023. It works as a pre-stage and reduced test version of the final app.
«Exploring a New World of Sadness»: Grundlagenforschung zur veränderten Ästhetik und Repräsentation von psychischem Leid bei Jugendlichen im Kontext digitaler Transformation. Projektförderung: Gesundheitsförderung Schweiz.
«Do you care?»: Angewandtes Forschungsprojekt zur gestalterischen Entwicklung eines proto-typischen Mental-Health-Tools für Jugendliche. Projektförderung: Jubiläumsstiftung der Mobiliar.
«Heavy Mental»: Entwicklung, Gestaltung, Programmierung und Implementierung des Prototyps. Projektförderung: Sanitas Stiftung
Heavy Mental can be located in the intersection between the two major transaformation movements of health and digitization, in the field of E-Mental-Health. The app responds on the one hand to the fact that (Swiss) young people use their cell phones between three and five hours a day, and on the other hand to the sharp increase in mental illness among them in Switzerland and Europe.
There is an urgent need for creative prevention strategies that help adolescents and young adults to understand and manage their moods at an early stage.
In particular, there is currently a lack of offers that succeed in addressing the lifeworld and the specific demands of young people adequately. With Heavy Mental we aim to do just that. It should be obvious that it is exclusively addressed to young adults and adolescents and that older generations, especially the parents' generation, are not included.
Heavy Mental should be used in the future as part of prevention measures. The aim is to create a closer connection to the young target group in the context of mental health.