An Introduction to Mental Illness

Xiaoyue Shen
Adolescence is an important period for a person to shape their mental health. Many psychological conditions plant their seeds during the youth stage. Introduction to Metal Health, is a booklet that introduces common psychological condition to teenagers in a relaxed and enjoyable way.

Mental health problems have increased over the past decade. Approximately 20% of children and adolescents in the world are afflicted by mental illness issues— with suicide being the biggest cause of death in the 15–29 age group. For adolescents, mental health has a major impact on all areas of life including, but not limited to school performance, family life, and relationships with friends.

The booklet I designed is for students aged from 13–19 because they are beginning to experience the world, interact with society, and are building their identity. I chose to use an illustrated dinosaur to establish an approachable and neutral character. The illustrations range from eating disorders and anxiety, to drug dependence and schizophrenia. The objective was to place the personable dinosaur is situations that supported the information describing each mental health condition common to the youth demographic.

In order to facilitate the expression of the theme, I think it is necessary to design a cartoon image to establish an emotional connection with the audience. Illustrations are a faster and more memorable way to convey ideas than words. In order not to upset young people, I finally targeted on dinosaurs.

Tyrannosaurus is the most well-known species in the dinosaur species. Green can give people a relaxed and happy feeling. I created seven illustrations for each of the seven themes of mood disorders, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, drug dependence, dementia, suicide, and schizophrenia.

All the contents in this book come from the Canadian Mental Health Association and WHO ofcial websites.