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Mental Health and Creativity: The Apps and Projects that Support Wellbeing

Mindfulness is crucial to maintaining our mental and physical health. With deadlines looming and being part of a constantly ‘switched on’ society, it’s easy for fear, stress, and anxiety to take over. As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re exploring how creative apps have helped with mindfulness, as well as looking at a variety of mental health campaigns.

Introducing Headspace

Launched in 2010, Headspace is a guided meditation app which uses various techniques from Andy Puddicombe. With a mission of providing health and happiness across the world, Headspace allows mindfulness to be easily accessible across the globe, through the use of animation, guided meditations, videos, and articles all in the distinct Headspace style.

Headspace at a Glance

If you’ve used Headspace before, you’ll typically be greeted with the next session of your last meditation course whether that’s a meditation for stress, anxiety or anger. However, what distinguishes Headspace more from any other app, is the personal experience you receive, combined with animation.

Produced by Nexus Studios, animated characters can be used to show how each exercise is done before starting the meditation. In addition, the Headspace library provides access to a wide variety of exercises, even suggesting recommendations.

As a result, Headspace has received approximately 31 million downloads, 1 million subscribers and has 89 million (plus) views on Youtube.

Headspace Headspace

We Listen: Campaign for Samaritans

Being a UK charity that supports people suffering from anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts, Samaritans launched the We Listen campaign in partnership with Network Rail. Featured predominantly on the UK rail network, the campaign used still portraits from Nadav Kander, combined with copy that conveys the hidden messages of individuals appearing to be fine, therefore encouraging people to get in touch if they can’t cope.

The result? We Listen became an award-winning campaign, which reached thousands of people over at least two years.

Credit: MullenLowe Group/Samaritans. 

We Listen: Samaritans

Pacifica

Just like Headspace, Pacifica is another mindfulness app. However, in addition to meditation, Pacifica provides a range of relaxation exercises, as well as mood/health tracking, progress reports, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and even a peer support community. However, what really adds to Pacifica is that the app asks how you are and then recommends meditation exercises based on how you’re feeling.

Overall, the whole personal user experience of Pacifica has helped the app become a huge success, now with over 1.9 million downloads.

Pacifica Pacifica

Mind: Taking Care of You

Targeted towards Doctors, Nurses, and Paramedics, Mind’s campaign, ‘Taking Care of You’ looks to change the hospital working culture over self-care.

After speaking to over 100 members of staff across seven hospitals, it was found that hospital staff put their own self-care last, with many workers putting patient needs first, and reporting constant issues with low mood and sleeping, as well as stress and trauma.

As a result, Mind created a new campaign to raise awareness of ‘self-care’ to emergency staff, providing them with advice on how to deal with stress, anxiety, and depression. The campaign features an A6 advice booklet, as well as posters, pin-badges, and an A4 booklet, all containing information of how to perform a ‘stress scan.’

Currently, the ‘Taking Care of You’ campaign is being featured in five hospital emergency departments, with a reach of 1,300 staff. However, Mind aims to roll out the campaign nationally, with an aim to reach 20,000 workers.

Credit: Helen Holden Design/Mind

Conclusion

With more campaigns being released every year, it’s great to see mental health conditions receiving more awareness than ever before. In addition, thanks to mobile apps such as Headspace and Pacifica, mindfulness has become accessible, with many people enduring health benefits, such as reduced stress and increased well-being.

However, if you find yourself or someone else struggling, please seek helpwhether it’s from a charity or someone you trust. Mind and Samaritans are two fantastic charities who are dedicated to helping those who are experiencing difficulties with their mental health.

For help and support or to find your nearest Mind, please call: 0300 123 3393 or visit: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/local-minds/
For help and support from Samaritans, please call: 116 123.

 

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