Potential trigger warning.
I have been working with Studio Meineck to co-design a tool which will help men aged 35-55 to express, monitor and track their ‘inner weather’ as a visual metaphor for mental health and wellbeing.
Older men are the hardest group to target, and the least likely to access mental health services, apps and support. Weather Report aims to help men aged 35-55 to communicate their emotions and moods so they can reflect more easily, make changes earlier and find a way out of crisis if need be. This cohort of men are also at the highest risk of suicide.
The tool will combine a physical and digital element and aims to give the men a new tool to help track and reflect on their feelings in a positive and accessible way. This is something that’s so important to a group of people who traditionally find it really hard to talk about how they feel.
Chloe Meineck and I have been working with a group of men who access the Hope project from Second Step – a mental health charity in Bristol. We have held a series of workshops to explore design with the cohort of men it is designed to be used for. We have looked at issues such as resistance to using apps, what the tool should be and shouldn’t be and the difference between digital and physical tools.
I am really excited to be working with Chloe, funded by the South West Creative Technology Network. We share an interest in reducing suicide, an ethos about inclusion and accessibility and a passion for designing with the people who are the target users at the heart of the process.