In Denmark the number of students who sought psychological assistance, in order to complete their university studies trebled in the past 5 years. Despite these rising numbers there is very little visibility about mental health related issues on campus. ‘Student, how are you?’ is a co-design project that focuses on sharing stories and experiences of study related struggles through an engaging digital platform, and is created in collaboration with students and Studenterrådgivningen in Copenhagen. The aim of the project is to open up discussions and raise awareness about the mental wellbeing of university students.
This is a joint thesis project created together with Ingeborg Himle Matland
“The nature of many of these issues is that it’s not about a single thing. I think that’s where expert advice can be misleading into mental health, to say ‘just this is about mental health’. It narrows the scope of everything that is around wellbeing and how you experience the world ”
- Rachel, Student
“Some students only have maybe one counselling session, this is advice they could be getting on this platform — just the feeling that they are not alone and that other people have similar issues”
Co-design Methodology and Approach
As co-designers we are interested in how design influences not just products and services but also people’s habits, lifestyles and relationships. When approaching this topic of mental health from a design perspective we have taken an exploratory, qualitative approach. This means that from beginning on, we have had a close collaboration with the intended target group through multiple encounters (interviews) and workshops. Throughout the project we have discovered how this is both a highly individual and complex topic, meaning that there is no single solution that would fit all student needs. Instead, we hope the Student, how are you? platform can help a student feel less alone and open up to someone about the struggles he or she is facing.
Check out the photos of our process below.