DESIGN RESEARCH QUESTION:
How can we support undergraduate students as they have conversations with their peers about personal mental health?
"Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent psychiatric problems among college students, with approximately 11.9% of college students suffering from an anxiety disorder...Another common mental health problem among college students is depression, with prevalence rates in college students of 7 to 9%." (Paola Pedrelli, et al, 2014
). "67% of college students tell a friend they are feeling suicidal before telling anyone else." (ActiveMinds.org
Undergraduates at the University of Washington, Seattle who may or may not know how to approach a peer struggling with depression and/or anxiety. A peer is defined here as a fellow student, friend, acquaintance or roommate.
PURPOSE OF RESEARCH:
Develop a proposal for a product or experience that prepares UW students to break down stigma and improve the quality of peer-to-peer conversations about personal mental health.
Primary Research: Participant Interviews
Group 1: UW undergraduates who have first-hand experience struggling with depression or anxiety.
Group 2: UW undergraduate students who have reached out to peers struggling with depression
Primary Research: Expert Interviews
Task 1: Introductory interviews with mental health professionals, to gauge what role peer support plays in mental health care, and what skills undergraduates should have in order to reach out to peers.
DATA ANALYSIS AND IDEATION:
Through the interview and the interview transcription process, I have begun to develop qualitative insights that inform my concept ideation. My ideation process has also been informed by secondary research, conversations with an expert, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Erin Hiebsch