08 October 2019

Mental ill health is the leading cause of disability worldwide, with depression affecting more than 300 million people. To coincide with World Mental Health Day on 10 October, UniSA’s Match Studio and The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre will launch the 2019 Visualising Mental Health (VMH) Exhibition at the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery and host the inaugural Visualising Mental Health Forum at the Allan Scott Auditorium. 

SA Mental Health Commissioner Chris Burns will be the forum’s keynote speaker and he will also join a panel discussion with psychologist Dr Gareth Furber and founding director of Match Studio Dr Jane Andrew, moderated by Professor Nicholas Procter. 

"Mental ill health is as much a public health issue as it is an issue for the individual struggling with personal mental health issues," Dr Andrew says. 

Now in its fourth year, the VMH project is facilitated by Match Studio, UniSA’s innovative teaching and learning space. The projectinvolves UniSA’s third year Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) students collaborating with practising psychologists on a 12-week co-design project where they design visual communication tools to help clinical psychologists communicate mental health concepts. 

Selected prototypes are then put into a limited production run for psychologists across South Australia to use and test in their practice. 

VMH project lecturer, Dr Doreen Donovan says the project “showcases creative interpretations by young people to promote positive mental health and highlights the creative talent in South Australia”. 

One of the ongoing challenges psychologists face is communicating important mental health concepts to the wider community. The idea for the VMH project is the result of a discussion with Dr Furber in 2016 on how psychologists could collaborate with emerging designers to create engaging and informative mental health education materials for the general public.  

“People can see how mental health can be embedded into multiple layers of life, not just conversations about mental illness,” Dr Furber says. 

VMH Exhibition: Kerry Packer Civic Gallery. North Terrace, City West Campus 8-23 October
VMH Forum: Allan Scott Auditorium, North Terrace, City West Campus, 6.00pm-7.30pm, 10 October


Media contact: Jesse Neill office (08) 8302 0961 mobile: +61 481 588 068
email: Jesse.Neill@unisa.edu.au

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