TRIGGER WARNING: Note that this site includes references to suicide that some may find distressing.
Mental health awareness is currently at its highest, marked by days, weeks and months on the calendar. This is the achievement of the many campaigns led by public and private institutions, and the hundreds of charities built around these issues. The shared goal is to erase the stigma around mental health disorders and encourage people to seek help. But what happens when support is sought? What resources are available, and how do we access them?

We are here to help you is a series of projects in which I revisit my personal experience applying for mental health aid from public services in the UK. Each is presented through different methods of graphic analysis, starting by mapping out the whole journey and then zooming deeper into details.

The foundation of the research is a flowchart that tracks the route I followed to access treatment. It includes the organisations, people and procedures I encountered across the application process, providing a bird's-eye view of the journey and its ramifications.
Written Map

Looking closer at the process, it comes across as scripted - where each organisation plays a different role depending on the services they provide. The following text contrasts how the institutions present themselves through their marketing material with my experience as a patient.
Text Map
Printed Archive

Most of the application is made through paperwork. I compiled the documents I was supplied with into a printed archive. It's printed on continuous paper to embody the length of this procedure - 80m in total, taller than a 20-storey building.
Archive Archive Archive Archive
Automated skimming

The paperwork that I had to do most often was the questionnaires to monitor my mental health. Over time, I found them challenging to complete, possibly because one of the symptoms of depression is having trouble concentrating. When we can't focus, we tend to skim-read, searching for specific information or the general idea of the content. I distilled one of the tests through a system that removes 5 words at a time, to emulate how the test could be read if scanned for core messages.
3D Video

I did find a vast amount of people out there to help me, but for some reason, meeting more carers seemed to harm me. The following experiment is a first-person simulation which recreates a selection of moments I experienced.

Click here to launch this experience on mobile.
Please note, this experience does not currently work on iOS devices.

Open Discussion

We've attained plenty of mental health awareness, but the services available are lagging behind. This project aims to provide an insight into what happens after reaching out for help. I've used my experience as the focal point of this research, but further discussion is needed. If you have ever required mental health assistance or are a mental health professional, please share your experiences in the following form. There's a conversation to have that can save lives.