Product Idea |

RU-OKx3 - The Mental Health Head

19 comments

Last Updated . Click "Updates" above to see the latest.


This idea was started to be developed in October 2019 while I was helping the local branch of Mind mental health charity with an exhibition of artwork produced by service users around the theme “People, Puzzles, Pathways”. I took photos of the artwork and used some of my own work as well, as I am also a service user. The primary organiser and myself were discussing my love of Lego and how it helps me with my mental health issues and how therapeutic it can be. I wondered how to incorporate this into the next planned exhibition for mental health awareness week in the following May, the initial theme idea was “the art and science of mental health”. I came up with an initial idea of making some sort of head that minifigure’s would fit in and have areas to show physical health, arts, and science.

The idea has developed from there as I worked with two local schools to develop mental health superhero cards (trading cards type). It was then thought that it would be a good idea to incorporate them where possible into the design. There will also be support characters around the aspects of the mind that I originally imagined included within the design. The design can open at several points to allow interaction with the interior areas, and to separate higher levels. There is also movement functionality around some of the senses, which have control points for the superheroes inside.

The primary aim of the set is to highlight that regardless of race, age, gender, or any other methods of differentiating groups of people, that you can all suffer from mental health issues, and the heroes inside (especially your head) that are there to help. As with any heroes they ideally need villains to combat and, in this case, I am using characters that are based around fear and stigma as these are often the biggest things people with mental health problems battle against. I came up with the name around the mental health check that you should ask someone if they “are you Okay” 3 times to get a true response, as we often respond to someone asking it the first time with fine or yes even when we are not.

The development of the design stalled at various points due to my own poor mental health and twofold from the pandemic, as firstly when we were aiming to display a version of it in the May mental health awareness week in 2020, we were unable to and again around world mental health day, due to the restrictions in place around gatherings, and also that I work fulltime for the NHS and the workload has been a lot higher. Therefore, we are hoping that we can do it for this year’s mental health awareness week in May. I have started to obtain the parts (in colours close to design were needed) to build a version of it for display at the exhibition, along with having some loose parts for visitors to build/play with. To promote a mindfulness approach and where we can talk to people easier while they are able to answer without thinking about their responses, providing truer responses.

As I build the physical version, I will add additional media to show how it works and the internal parts. I will also add details on the characters as I am able to get the parts and identify them, which will include their names and possibly a brief bio for them. What we will be looking at on the physical version is to put QR codes or web address for links to help/support pages around the element of mental health that they are in. There is also a little mascot robot I created in there, that will help people navigate through the head.

We have been lucky to receive some donations to Mind for this project, including one from the local Lego Store, as well as having personally purchased second-hand bundles which have contained some of the parts that will be going towards the build. These second-hand bundles have also had another benefit to my mental health, as I identified parts that were unique to specific sets and getting the instructions for them and building them sometimes needing to get some parts to be able to. I have found that the process of identifying, building, completing, disassembling, and designing Lego sets helps my mental health significantly. I have used three main sites to help me with these, which are www.bricklink.com www.brickset.com www.rebrickable.com I have uploaded some of my normal designs to them as well.