Monthly Archives: November 2013

Framing Four Perspectives on Mental Wellness

Written by . Filed under Learn, Understand. Tagged , , , . 3 Comments.

DwD 11.13.13

Adapting a method we call an Innovation Town Hall, November’s Design with Dialogue explored the landscape of campus and community mental wellness, the innovation of responsive care, and the experience of health services. The session was organized as a collaboration with OCAD University’s Health and Wellness Centre as part of their service design to provide a positive, growthful experience with students and clients. Recent campus dialogues and news stories have contributed to deepening our understanding of the student experience of emotional and mental health in learning and dealing with stresses and growth. Partnering with the Wellness Centre in a community-focused DwD, students, faculty, and professionals joined to explore the experience and struggles of mental health and the enhancement of health services.

Several significant questions were introduced as starting points:

  • How can we move beyond the conventional views of mental health and learn from each other?
  • Are there innovations in community and social health that might enhance awareness and improve mental wellbeing?
  • What might we understand together to cultivate empathy and insight about the experience of emotional and mental health journeys?

A visual summary of the proceedings, live sketched by Patricia Kambitsch, illustrates the main issues that emerged from the dialogue:



The Innovation Town Hall engaged the perspectives of four committed presenters who shared about their current, personal and professional issues in mental wellness and care:

  • Canadian society, Mark Henick
  • OCAD / Institutional, Andrea Yip
  • Psychological,  Jennifer Robinson
  • Student perspective, Alicia Raimundo






 aliciaThe four speakers engaged in whole group dialogue, then moved to small groups based on their perspective, and developed contextual stories and health concepts co-created within each groups.







Inquiries by each of the four perspective groups led to unpacking of concerns and issues, including the systemic drivers and experiences in each worldview. The Psychological group, for example, identified concerns and suggested remedies found later to be very well aligned with the student experience. The inclusion of peers and education of faculty and other campus employees were found to be significant opportunities for complementing clinical services with safe, trusted caring relationships in the immediate learning context.








Group moderator Karen Oikonen presents the conclusions from  the Psychological group’s inquiry.




Session Hosts

Peter Jones
Peter is co-founder of Design with Dialogue and associate professor at OCAD University, in the Strategic Foresight and Innovation MDes program.

Andrea Yip

Andrea Yip, MPH is the Coordinator of Mental Health Initiatives at OCAD U and Ryerson University and is working to co-design a collaborative mental health strategy between both schools. Working along the intersections of art, social design and health promotion, Andrea is coordinates community-led initiatives that have human-centered impact. ayheadshot

Andrea is an advisor to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Wellspring Centre for Innovation.  Twitter: @andrealyip