September 4th, 2015

Support Squared – the workshop

On Saturday 25th of August we ran a workshop at Riverside Museum with 12 young people from various mental health organisations including; Y-Sort It, See Me and Gamh. The aim of the workshop was to support young people to produce gifs and memes addressing mental health that they can share with their peers online.

We produced materials to help generate ideas for gifs and memes around mental health, and materials that can help with how to create gifs and memes. Feel free to download the workshop materials and use them in your own workshop.

Click here to view the gifs

Discussion Game

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We kicked off the workshop with a discussion game. Put the ‘Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree’ on the floor in the four corners of the room. Give everyone a statement eg. ‘I can tell how my mate is feeling by what’s going on on their social media’, have people move to the corner of the room the agree with. Then everyone discusses why they are there.

Download support materials for discussion game

Why did we do it?

We wanted to get people thinking about talking about mental wellbeing in a way that they felt comfortable with. This game encouraged discussion but people weren’t force to speak about things they weren’t comfortable.

Did it work?

It was a great icebreaker, the other advantage was that we learned a lot about people’s behaviour online. “I learned more about mental health” was the feedback.

Story Cards

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The story cards had scenarios eg. ‘John has just found out that his pal Lucy started going to a therapist and he wants to find a way to bring it up.’ alongside a quote I want to ask Lucy about her therapy but I am afraid of asking the wrong questions.” People went into groups to discuss the scenarios and write their own. These were used to generate gif and mem ideas.

Download the storycards

Why did we do it?

We wanted to steer the young people towards tackling mental wellbeing issues online. The story cards aimed to cover lots of mental wellbeing scenarios so that we got a range of gifs and memes ranging from heavy to light topics. It also brought in a personal element to the gifs and memes, so it was easy to imagine who the gif or meme was aimed at.

Did it work?

People were great at making their own with their own imagined scenarios. This lead to a range of gifs from alcohol issues, to how to make a friend feel they have someone to talk to. Each group seemed to use the cards differently, some reading them aloud to the group and discussing. People said they learned “how to put ideas into real life”

Idea Generation

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We used this tool to get people turning those scenarios into gifs. They pose questions ‘How would say this as a joke?’ How would I like to hear it? ‘How would a cat say it’. They lead directly from mental wellbeing scenario to an idea for a gif or a meme that could be shared online.

Download idea generation template

Why did we do it?

To get from scenario to idea for a gif or meme can be quite a leap. This tool can be used to bridge that gap, and help form ideas around scenarios.

Did it work?

Small groups rapidly found it easy to generate four gif or meme ideas around just one scenario. This tool takes a bit longer than the others and requires more attention span.

Storyboards

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The storyboards allowed groups to take one idea from the idea generation tool and flesh it out more. Each gif or meme took more shape and had more purpose at this stage. It meant people would know how they needed to proceed to make the gif or meme.

Download storyboard template

Why did we do it?

Drawing out how the gif or meme was supposed to look on paper was important as it meant it would be easier to make digitally. It meant the groups had a clear idea of what they were making before they picked up materials, so it was an important part of the co-design process.

Did it work?

Groups quickly wanted to prototype their meme as we did this activity. People picked up play-do, pens, little figures to visualise their ideas. It also meant if people wanted to work individually their group still had input.

Instructions

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We also made a general instruction print out for people to take away, that way they could make gifs and memes at home. A quote from the day was “Making animations isn’t too complicated”.

Download general instruction print out

Why did we do it?

We wanted people to take skills away from the workshop they could use anytime. So that they are equipped with the digital tools to make gifs and memes whenever they like, and so that their emotional literacy is improved.

Did it work?

The young people said that they had learned digital skills and learned about mental health. We received positive feedback online from people tweeting and sharing the gifs.