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Using empathy to help people overcome their mental health issues: Mindnosis

Inspiration, Interviews

Sara Lopez Ibanez, a graduate designer from UAL: Central Saint Martins MA Industrial Design, has developed a mental health self-assesment kit that allows users to figure out the kind of help they require, and where they can get it from.

After her own negative experiences with mental health services, Sara was inspired to use her creative talents to tackle the issue. Her research found that there was currently a lack of empathy in mental health services, which rely heavily on medical modals. The result is Mindnosis, a social enterprise that offers self-exploratory tools and one-to-one meetings developed by those who have experienced mental health issues. The service’s aim is to validate personal learning and help those who are encountering mental distress for the first time and those who struggle to make sense of it, communicate it to others or seek help.

Her project has captured the imagination of mainstream media, being featured in Dezeen, The Metro and Trend Hunters.

“When I was 17 I became unwell, and my biggest problem was not being able to understand what was going on,’ graduate designer Sara tells metro.co.uk. ‘I was taken to see a doctor back in Spain where I am originally from but they asked me questions I was unable to answer. They relied on my words and I was not able to talk. I was scared, for not being able to make sense of what I was feeling. I had to fill questionnaires that didn’t give me any insight on why I was feeling that way.”

In the future, Sara envisions the kits being handed out as part of a social enterprise, driven by people who have experience of mental health issues. The social enterprise could also hold workshops to develop the tools offered in the kits and deliver peer support.


Inspired to do something about mental health? Come along to our Design Changemakers: Mental Health event taking place at The Design Museum. The event aims to inform, engage and inspire creative thinkers to explore positive design solutions. We’ll be showcasing some amazing projects from industry professional, graduates and students, who have already used their talents and created positive change around mental health issues.

Enter The Creative Conscience Awards 2018.