Keeping your mind healthy
The Royal Ottawa Hospital is one of Canada's foremost mental healthcare and academic health science centres, aiming to help more people living with mental illness into faster recovery. The Royal approached us to help brand and develop a problem solving app aimed at helping youth deal with emotions and cope with the stresses encountered both on and off campus.
When determining how this app could be used to aid youth, we based our direction on interviews and research conducted by The Royal Ottawa with various mental health doctors and counsellors at the hospital. They were able to provide us with insight and real techniques that were found beneficial for their patients when coping with stress and overall mental health. We focused our primary user targets on three personas: youth feeling an impact on their mental health, youth who have a friend or loved one dealing with their mental health, and adults of youth with mental health concerns.
A core feature and the main user flow prompts users to record their mood accompanied by the option to include a short journal entry or photo. Users are presented with a suggested activity or resource to instantly address their current state. The focus was making the user aware of their emotions and record what they were feeling, and why they were feeling that way,The app allows users to reflect on past entries and identify patterns or triggers that could causing them stress or things that might affect their mental health.
Together with the help of the doctors and counsellors at The Royal, we established a set of activities we strongly believed would empower and educate youth on how to cope with some of the pressures they face. The activities included a guided meditation through breathing techniques, how to simplify a larger problem into small actionable steps and reminders, how to refocus with a healthy perception during stressful situations, and tips on clearing your mind and forming good habits to improve overall health. Each flow was thoughtfully simplified and designed to clearly highlight the key research behind each method and teach the user how to take action towards coping and bettering their mental health.
The wordmark created for HealthyMinds and the emphasis on the word 'Healthy' translated directly to our mission of promoting and encouraging the importance of a healthy mind. We kept the brand minimal, fresh, and incorporated a range of bright colours. The illustrated faces are used throughout promotional materials and a primary focus of the app. They were designed in a bold and minimal style embodying emoji characters used in messaging. The user interface mimicked our desire to keep the app clear and approachable with its crisp typeface, distinct calls to actions, and solid iconography.
To encourage and promote the launch of the HealthyMinds app, we designed a one page marketing site highlighting core features, testimonials, and a bit about the app. The Royal Ottawa reached out to their connections in the Ottawa community and began promoting predominantly in schools. To support their efforts we created colourful and bold print material that reflects and communicates the focus of Healthyminds.
We put the HealthyMinds app in front of real secondary and post secondary students, as well as some of the experts and advocates for mental health in community. To this day, HealthyMinds is integrated and strongly promoted throughout schools in the Ottawa region. Hear is what a few of the users had to say: