When first thinking of my target audience I think it would have to be quite broad as, anyone from any age can be affected by mental health. This means that my project needs to be universal as more people than I intended could use it. As a result, the interface should be easy to navigate. However, audience that is over 60 may not use this app, as they would not want to use technology in this way, they would want to have people to talk to. For that reason, aiming for below that will be likely. From my last research about mental health, I found a really interesting paper by the Mental Health Organisation that was published in 2015. This explained that from their research they discovered, that more and more people from the age of 12 are being effected by a type of mental health.
“2013, 6,233 suicides were recorded in the UK for people aged 15 and older. Of these, 78% were male and 22% were female”
“In the 2013 UK Wellbeing Survey, nearly 1 in 5 people in the UK aged 16 and older showed symptoms of anxiety or depression. This percentage was higher for females (21.5%) than for males (14.8%)”
“In a 2005 US study, consisting of 9282 participants, it was found that 75% of mental health problems are established by age 24, and 50% by age 14”
I felt sympathy for this age group as, they go through a lot for their age, and during this period of time, they should not be feeling like this. In consequence, I would like to focus on the age of 12 and up. They are more likely to use technology/digital media to help them overcome any obstacles, as they are more aware of it and have access to it. Also, as I am focusing on CBT and helping the way that they think, by focusing on this age group will help them to carry this thinking technique later on in life, which could help to reduce the amount of people that are effected by mental health when they are older. This will have greater influence on my product as, it will need to entice the audience into using this product, but also affected them in a positive way, for example the colour scheme needs to appeal to them but also have calming abilities.
From doing some basic research around the issue of mental health, and what are the most concerning problems was the fact that more teenagers between the ages of 14-24 were getting some sort of mental health issues. It is said “Around 20% of the world’s children and adolescents have mental disorders or problems. About half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14.”
I thought this was very concerning and really caught my attention, as during this period of a person’s life should be fun and exciting, but some are going through this, because of extra stress and pressure put on the from school and their surroundings. My target audience, will aim to be around 12-18. This is because, this age is the time from secondary school to sixth form/college, where more and more pressure is put on the student, affecting their mental health. Also, at this age you are still learning how to figure things out, which means that thinking patterns are very important, so by helping them to change the way that they think from an early age means that, they will be able to use this technique later on in their life, and hopefully reduce the amount of people suffering from mental health problems.
I have asked some members of my target audience about how they feel about mental health and whether or not they have been effected by it, and what are the main issues about it. This should help me get an idea about what my project can do for them and what direction I should head in.
I found it very hard talking to my buds, so I would tend to unload on strangers/ on weird websites People I told about my brain being broken also found it very hard to understand, so they had to actually research things and then they got sad too and it was a weird cycle of helping each other But yeah, having a safe place to vent and help others understand was very important to me.
Person 2 –
Right okay – when I first started to have panic attacks I found it basically impossible to find anything online that made me feel like I wasn’t alone. At the time, I wasn’t necessarily sure they were panic attacks I just thought I was gonna die.
In terms of my mental health I found social media (tumblr, Instagram) really dangerous in terms of reigning negative thought patterns and behaviours. It was so easy to loose myself in someone else’s (perfect life) or to follow blogs on tumblr that promoted behaviours such a self harm and starvation.
I found it hard to reach out to people and became very isolated when my depression was at its worst, so maybe something that prompted you to reach out, even just an alert to message a friend or something.
I also found audio books and things really helpful as they allowed me to escape from reality and just listen to ‘someone’
Sometimes I get sad for no reason, and you lose all will to do things or go outside, but you push through and carry on.
I feel that it is not being address enough, mental health on the NHS is not working, it takes too long for any serious to happen. Also, people are unaware, they could find out they have it until it’s too late.