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A Mental Health Awareness Campain

Berlin Education
Luisa Weyrich
Luisa Weyrich
80 €
2,200 € Funding goal
2 days


Funding period 20.07.2016 14:44 Uhr - 01.10.2016 23:59 Uhr
Realisation period still in this year
Funding goal 2,200 €
City Berlin
Category Education
The ShitShow is an interactive pop-up exhibition designed to make the sensitive, 'taboo' issue of mental health more present and approachable to the public. Psychological struggles are still stigmatized, making it hard to reach out for help. We want to offer an alternative way for people to engage with the topic and develop mechanisms for support and resilience.

What is this project all about?

Mental illnesses are one of the most widespread disabilities worldwide. In Germany alone, 4 million people are affected by issues like anxiety or depression. Yet, it’s a secret we all share. Seeking help for psychological struggles is still strongly associated with shame. Even being sad or stressed or unproductive is seen as personal weakness. As a result, many people find it difficult to talk about emotional problems – be it a missed project deadline, a loss in the family or an eating disorder.
It’s easier to open up to someone who has similar problems and can empathize. But how to identify the people that can offer support when everyone tries to hide their struggles? Most people that are in emotional distress don’t decide to seek help until they have been in increasing pain for a prolonged amount of time. Only about 35% of people suffering from depression are receiving treatment. On average, 11 months have passed before even these few seek out professional help.
The ShitShow is one approach of addressing this pressing situation.

What is the project goal and who is the project for?

Ultimately, The ShitShow is trying to enable more open conversation about a topic that has been neglected for too long. Communication is the key to providing good support for those suffering from mental distress and to prevent problems from growing. It is also necessary to build resilience towards psychological stress.
Young adults are particularly affected by this issue. As many leave the familiar framework of home and school, they have to find alternative support structures. New living situations, starting university or a job, all these developments entail a multitude of mental pressures. In a time where social media is so influential, standards of self-representation are an added factor.
Opening up is the first step to get some relief. However, when we share our feelings, we are vulnerable, exposed. Oftentimes, the recipient is simply not equipped to respond in a considerate, empathic way.
The ShitShow wants to challenge the current attitude towards psychological care. We want to make it clear that feeling shitty is nothing to be ashamed of, but actually a very common thing. We also want to make the impact of these feelings understandable, so that more people can offer informed, helpful peer support. When this happens, the threshold of reaching out is lowered, which in return allows problems to be addressed before they develop into serious mental conditions.

Why would you support this project?

Supporting The ShitShow means promoting an alternative idea for tackling the problem of mental health. It means to engage in a dialogue that is important not only for the young target group of the show, but also for everyone who is interested in a resilient, healthy society. While there is a great spectrum of available options for help, it’s difficult to get an overview what is out there. Misconceptions about conditions and treatments are widespread. There have been a number of great mental health projects, but as long as we don’t make the topic more present in the everyday life, the situation will continue to worsen. The ShitShow is an attempt to prevent just that, in a non-stigmatizing, non-patronizing way.

How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded? 

The funding money for The ShitShow will be used in different ways and on various project elements. The main part is the set-up of an exhibition which will be initially presented in the University of Arts in Berlin and at different sites and events in the future.
At the exhibition area, simulation objects designed based on the concept of embodiment theory will enable the visitors of The ShitShow to understand how mental health problems as depression, anxiety or loneliness can feel like. Part of the crowdfunding money will go towards the material and labour costs of producing these pieces and the other elements of the exhibition like infographics, a website and cool little souvenirs.
These giveaways will also be handed out to the university freshmen, pupils and young employees at events like Open Days or Welcome fairs. They will be included within “university first aid kits” that enable the recipients to find help and information when needed.

Who are the people behind the project?

The people behind The ShitShow are Nele, Pauline, Omri and Luisa. We are an interdisciplinary team of design and communications students from the University of Arts Berlin. Motivated by our own experiences with the pressures of university life and shortcomings of the available support systems, we developed concept for The ShitShow during our semester project ‘Hacking Utopia’ (http://hackingutopia.cre8tives.org/about/)

Curated by


In an interdisciplinary project of the Berlin University of Arts and connected to the EU research project #OP3NCARE, students of product design and social & economic communication developed different design concepts for the social and demographic change. Starting point was the exploration of...

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