Illustrating mental health topics: how can we do this well? A Cochrane tweetchat

Join @Cochrane_CCMD and @CochraneUK  for a tweetchat on illustrating mental health topics, on Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 20.00 GMT (15.00 EST). Here’s what we’ll be discussing. This discussion is part of a series on Evidently Cochrane, #YoungMindsMatter.

On Friday 7th February, in a blog for our special series #YoungMindsMatter, Jess Hendon, Managing Editor of Cochrane Common Mental Disorders, shared thoughts about the responsibility and challenges faced when using images to communicate mental health research findings, with practical insight from two graphic designers the Group have worked with, Laura Evans and Annina Diston.

On Wednesday 12th February 2020, from 20.00 GMT (15.00 EST), @SarahChapman30 and Selena Ryan-Vig from @CochraneUK with Jess Hendon from @Cochrane_CCMD will be hosting a tweetchat which we hope will encourage debate about this important topic. We want to hear your views and learn more about what you think works well when illustrating mental health topics, what doesn’t, and some examples of good practice. The chat will run for an hour.

Here are the questions we’ll be asking:

  1. What do you find most off-putting when you see mental health portrayed visually?
  2. What sort of images do you find most relatable?
  3. Can you share examples of what you think works well?
  4. Young people we have worked with have told us that they prefer clean simple graphics and don’t like to focus on the negative. What do you think?
  5. What do you think about the images below, developed by @Cochrane_CCMD with a graphic designer, as illustrations to accompany Cochrane evidence?
  6. Is there anything else you’d like us to consider when illustrating mental health topics?
Cartoon of a woman laying underneath a thick blanket reaching her hand out to hold another person's hand
Blanket shell.
Cartoon of a young woman with a large rucksack on her back, looking strained. A smiling young man stands next to her
Never forget my rucksack.
Cartoon of a woman and man embracing, the woman is trailed by a large blue cloud
Hold me tighter.

Illustrations by Annina Diston

The production of these illustrations was supported by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), via Cochrane Infrastructure funding to the Common Mental Disorders Cochrane Review Group.
The illustrations were developed by the designer and individuals involved in the project and are not necessarily images endorsed by the Systematic Reviews Programme, NIHR, NHS or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Illustrating mental health topics: how can we do this well? A Cochrane tweetchat by Sarah Chapman

is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

2 Comments on this post

  1. Great article! It’s refreshing to see mental health topics being discussed openly and creatively. The Tweetchat mentioned sounds like a fantastic initiative to spread awareness and foster engagement. Kudos to the organizers for their innovative approach. Keep up the great work! #MentalHealthMatters

    Merlin / Reply
  2. The use of visual communication in discussing such important subjects is intriguing. I have a question: How do you ensure that the illustrations accurately capture the complexity and nuances of mental health issues? Looking forward to your insights!

    Shafi Ahamed / Reply

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