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Mental Health for Students with JIWA & HPC

2023

Changing the Perspective on Mental Health

Zulfan Farhi made it his life’s mission to steer Brunei’s perspective on mental health towards one that is sensitive and compassionate. It is why he started JIWA, which stands for ‘*Joint Initiative for the Wellbeing of All*’, a non-profit enterprise whose goal is to educate the public on mental health and wellbeing, and to offer the right help to those who need it.

One of Zulfan’s beliefs is that mental health awareness and education should begin at an early age. The prevalence of mental health issues is no longer consistent with the stigma underlying it, and Zulfan wanted to promote an open and safe space for young people to learn about mental health, talk about their stories and struggles, and understand that they are not alone in their journeys. With this goal in mind, JIWA began a collaboration with the Mental Health Unit under Health Promotion Centre (HPC) to develop the first edition of a Student Wellness Handbook, titled “*Student Wellness: A Mental Health Guide for Students*”.

This guidebook, catered towards secondary students, aims to share information about mental health and mental wellbeing in a creative, kind, and digestible way. In order to achieve this, Zulfan approached AICREATIVV to help turn his visions into visuals. We were familiar with Zulfan’s requests, having done awareness campaigns before with other clients, such as the Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (BDCB) and Jabatan Kerja Raya (JKR), where we transformed technical and information-heavy content into digestible and easy-to-understand media. We were excited for this collaboration, as it not only gave us another opportunity to create something visually appealing, but more importantly, we were able to contribute to JIWA’s cause towards a more compassionate Brunei.

A collaboration between JIWA, HPC, AICREATIVV, and Qhanvas produced the “Student Wellness: A Mental Health Guide for Students”, an engaging and informative handbook to mental health awareness and education.

The Beauty in Dark Truths

The digestibility of the handbook was an important factor in its development, and every decision was made to aid this, down to the font choice. We chose to use Highgate and Asap as fonts throughout the book, as their open and round design contributed to a welcoming and inviting nature, easing the readability and digestibility of the guidebook’s contents. We also carefully considered the typographic hierarchy within each page of the book. To help with the reading flow and to ease consumption of the topics, we structured the copy to have clear distinctions between headings and bodies. With this, readers can identify the topics that interest them the most.

In order to make the Student Wellness Handbook both attractive and informative to its target audience, we utilized simple illustrations, which served two purposes. Firstly, inspired by the Studio Ghibli art style, Zulfan wanted a design that brought feelings of calmness and ease. Therefore, we collaborated with Aaqilull Qhaeer of *Qhanvas* to produce illustrations that depicted the topics surrounding mental health using a soft art style and fantastical imagery. Secondly, we wanted to facilitate the delivery of the messages in the book, considering the young target audience, who may have little to no knowledge on mental health and wellbeing. Thus, simple illustrations helped to amplify to simplicity of the messages, so that the book is both visually appealing, yet uncomplicated.

From Blue to Bloom

While the topic of mental health is an important discussion to have, it can also contain sensitive subjects, which can make it difficult to talk about it in a simple and lighthearted manner. Despite the gloom and doom that often accompanies the topic of mental health, with the Student Wellness Handbook, Zulfan wanted to convey the message that there is a light at the end of what may appear to be a dark and lonely tunnel.

This shift in emotional tone throughout the book was signified with colours; purples and blues were used to represent the dark and heavy emotions common in many mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. However, as one progresses through the book, the colour palette begins transitioning towards shades of green, to convey a sense of calmness and security in the presence of help and support, and to represent JIWA’s brand, where help and support can be found.

A Mission of Heart and Soul

A collaboration between JIWA, HPC, AICREATIVV, and Qhanvas produced the “Student Wellness: A Mental Health Guide for Students”, an engaging and informative handbook to mental health awareness and education. By incorporating simple and soft illustrations alongside educational content, we were able to create a product that depicts the topic of mental health in a more compassionate and understanding light. As Zulfan’s mission continues to inspire those around him, we hope that this guidebook will carry his purpose further, by providing an open and safe space for students to learn, and offering hope for a more empathetic future.

Roles

Booklet designed by Imamull Qhaeer and Iman Shamsuddin of AICREATIVV

Illustrations designed by Aaqilull Qhaeer of Qhanvas

Content provided by JIWA in collaboration with Health Promotion Centre, MOH

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