Why is this project important?
As a conversation starter about mental health
- Suicide is a worldwide epidemic with over 800,000 men and women taking their own lives each year. That's more than breast cancer, violence, war or leukaemia, to name just a few. Poor mental health is major challenge both socially and economically
- A major contributing factor to poor mental health and suicide is a feeling of isolation. The ability to see, in real-time, how other people are feeling normalises the extremely broad range of emotions that are experienced every second of every day.
- To improve anyone's mental health, there are two things that need to happen:
"How is the World Feeling?" provides a platform for both.
- People must first actually be aware of their own feelings and emotions.
- People then need to take some sort of positive action if changes need to be made: This may be as simple as sharing their feelings or perhaps looking at more formal support.
- Despite the increase in awareness of mental health over the past several years, there's still a long way to go before mental health conversations are the norm. We think everyone taking part in the world's largest mental health project is a pretty good conversation starter.
- There are a range of worldwide projects and summaries about mental health and happiness, however none provide the democratic opportunity like "How is the World Feeling?" for anyone who simply has access to a smart device to participate.
- The app provides the opportunity for any participant to share any of their own data or any of the world-wide data to a plethora of social media channels with the tap of a button - amplifying the reach of the conversation infinitely.
- Throughout the project, we'll also be formally following and documenting the lives of seven people - one on each continent. These case studies provide an in-depth look into micro-emotions and explore the range of emotions we experience, not when significant events occur, but in every day life.
As a personal mental health tool
- Apart from the novelty of participating in the world's largest mental health project, the app also provides participants with an invaluable tool for self-reflection and support.
- Each participant can see a history of their own feelings that they've logged. This understanding of one's emotions is particularly useful in two ways:
- As humans, we tend to "group" our emotions. For example, when you get home from work it's common to sum up the day in one word, like: stressful, or productive, etc. However, in reality, we experience a huge range of emotional nuance throughout each day.
- By being aware of these smaller nuances, we're far more capable of understanding any red or green flags that may need action.
- If the participant logs a pattern of emotions that may need addressing, the app will automatically suggest localised tools and resources.
- After "How is the World Feeling?" officially finishes on October 16th, but participants can continue to use the app as an ongoing mood tracker. (The app can still be downloaded here: Apple / Android).
As an incredible source of actionable data
- Despite the fact the app is called "How is the World Feeling?", what's more interesting, from a data perspective, is "when" and "why" participants are feeling certain emotions. For example, the app can tell us information like: "Men in Australia between the ages of 18-22 are most anxious on weekday mornings between the hours of 8am and 10am when commuting to work, whereas women tend to peak in anxiety in the middle of the day and more prominently at the start of the week".
- This level of data and insight is invaluable to mental health organisations, business and government - helping them to create more effective, targeted resources and tools.
- "How is the World Feeling?" is the largest democratic mental health survey in the world - with over 52,000 emotions captured. Access to such a large, international set of data means unprecedented understanding of mental health across an extremely vast range of demographics and geography.
- All data is completely open-source, meaning any individual, NGO or business can utilise the information gathered. It should be noted that no personally-identifiable information is collected from any participant.
- The global cost of mental health is US$2.5 trillion per year. "How is the World Feeling?" can provide the insights and data needed to create more effective ways of reducing mental health problems.