While everyone experiences occasional feelings of sadness, if someone experiences it for an extended period, it can lead to depression. Often, people only reach out for help at their lowest point, which is already too late.
I initially started with the question: "How can we expedite the moment of seeking help?" However, after conducting research and testing prototypes, my focus shifted. There are already sufficient resources available, but unfortunately, students are not utilizing them. So Instead of designing my own prototype, why not invent something that maybe can reach the students.
Introducing an exciting new intervention designed to challenge students' mindset and dispel misconceptions about available resources at HKU. I have made an interactive platform that provides information about HKU's resources and collects feedback. The online platform is accessible and playable on both PCs and mobile devices. Qr posters are spread to the multiple HKU buildings, asking people to be played.
This interactive experience allows participants to confront themselves both metaphorically and literally as they assist a virtual friend in accessing the support they need.
Through an engaging and immersive story, participants inform their friend about the resources available at HKU and help them overcome obstacles. However, the tables turn, and the virtual friend tries to help the participants in return. Will they be open to receiving help or let their preconceived notions hinder them? A short discussion with the virtual friend follows, and they will confront the participants based on their choices.
Initial play tests have shown promising results, with participants finding the informative aspect of the intervention highly effective. However, some also perceive it as a clever marketing tool—a disguised advertisement.
Our education program doesn't focus on the final product, but on the impact you want to achieve and how you plan to do it. That's why I frequently collaborate with the target audience and include individuals from my own network to achieve my goals.
Rather than creating yet another tool that I thought students needed, my intention was to encourage HKU students to utilize it or at the very least raise awareness about self-care.
Depression has become less of a significant taboo in recent years. It is being increasingly discussed in the media. However, I notice certain points that are not being addressed, and I would like to work on those.
Apart from that, I want to improve on my published game and possibly release a few other games on various platforms.
Learned during the studies
In the first two years of my education, we worked on various projects. Each project presented different challenges. Sometimes it involved miscommunications, difficulty in finding or reaching the target audience, disagreements with the client regarding the solution, and so on. It was through such experiences that I learned the most; often, you have to make mistakes first before figuring out the correct approach.
Hoe kunnen we het: Aan de bel trek moment vervroegen
For this research I engaged in conversations with students, the dean, tutors, teachers, HKU staff, Stuw, and the HKU Coach. Below, I will discuss my key findings.
The main findings of my research are as follows:
-Not all tutors are well-informed about the available resources, workshops, and what the staff platform has to offer.
-There is no suicide prevention protocol in place.
-It is not always clear to the tutors who is responsible for what.
-The website is outdated in some areas, and not everything is easily findable.
-There is a lack of information and transparency about the provided resources on the website.
Unfortunately, this research document is in Dutch