I recently graduated from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture from the communication design department. For our thesis we were supposed to work with a concept for around six months so I wanted to choose something that will be close to my heart, a topic that has been a question for me that want to answer and also make our society answer. And it is not simple.
Will you welcome, befriend, marry or adopt an individual who has been diagnosed as being “mad”?
It could be any mental illness but the stereotype and stigma attached to the word “mad” in Urdu which is known as “pagal” makes us discriminate against them and separate them from the normal in our society. They are looked down upon and isolated and seen as their illnesses rather than the individuals they are.
Pakistan lacks knowledge and awareness regarding mental illnesses and its care. People in our society have no awareness about mental care and are still living in a mindset with social stigma attached with mental illnesses.
Schizophrenia, being one of the most complex chronic mental illnesses is the least known in our society, so much that patients suffering with it are alienated and looked down upon. Due to this, people feel discouraged to come out and get it diagnosed and treated.
This thesis project brings an online platform to Pakistan giving people access to knowledge, awareness and a handling toolkit for Schizophrenia.
Us (Understanding Schizophrenia) Pakistan is targeted mainly towards the caretakers of people suffering from Schizophrenia and also to the people in society so that they understand and help the victims of Schizophrenia.
Check out my thesis work at Behance Understand Schizophrenia
US Landing WebPage
Landing WebPage Interactive
One of the most important parts of this Project was the ‘Hear and Tell’. The idea was to break through the barrier of hesitation, stigma, isolation and the shame attached with the idea of mental illnesses. Due to the stigma many cases go unreported, many individuals live a broken life just because they are discouraged to come and tell their story. This way they are ask unable to seek help. Through Hear and Tell being a part of social media an anonymous story will be told through images or words and the audience will be encouraged to tell theirs if they have a similar one. It is nature that when one person hears that another individual has experienced what they have, they just might be able to get the courage to share theirs and eventually seek help.
So far this is just an idea, a concept. I want to take this forward, however for that i need feedback on how much will it be effective? Will the hear and tell idea help family members share stories of their loved ones experiencing mental illnesses? In your opinion should this idea be taken forward?