From the Nominator
"Millions of people around the world are facing mental health challenges either directly related to or aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Widespread stigma still prevents many from seeking critical support from friends, family, and mental health professionals. Mental health issues affect all demographics, with women, minorities and underserved communities particularly at risk.
We used a strategy that proved effective at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when rapid, accessible, global health communication was urgently needed. We developed culturally neutral, language-independent health messages that relied only on visual storytelling and a powerful, engaging soundtrack. Our strategy for this “health entertainment” video incorporated the best practices of the entertainment industry and lessons learned through our global health education research to date.
We worked with global mental health researchers, medical professionals, educators and an animator based in the Global South to create a short, rapidly scalable animation showing a gender-neutral, culturally agnostic main character struggling to cope. This struggle was represented by boulders that kept piling up in our main character’s back. Each additional stressor threatened their ability to climb the hill in front of them. The hills themselves were designed to mimic the general profile of COVID-19 infection waves. The main character, at first, continues struggle on their own—even passing several call-for-help buttons—until they finally realize they can no longer go on. Reaching this breaking point, the main character finally calls for help and immediately help arrives, allowing them to continue and complete their climb."
From the Judges
Timely, especially in higher education where students are struggling. Makes you lean in without words. Really felt they accomplished their goals. Easy to understand.