Webby for Good is a collaborative program formed by The Webby Awards and WP Engine to showcase Webby-recognized projects built to change the world.
What’s the elevator pitch for your project?
Psychosis is one the most publicly stigmatized mental illnesses, but it shouldn't be. "What is Psychosis?" is a beautifully designed animation which aims to engage and educate the public by telling the relatable story of Michael, who recently started experiencing the isolating and frightening symptoms of psychosis and his friend, Jasmine, who is determined to help him.
What was the impetus for this project? What real-world challenge were you trying to solve?
“1 in 5 New Yorkers experience a mental health disorder in any given year.”
It was this statistic that captured the city’s attention when it appeared in 2015. And in response launched a program that would change the way the City approaches mental health and substance misuse.
The animation, What is Pychosis? is a result of that program. It is designed to engage and educate all New Yorkers on one of the most stigmatized mental illnesses.
Our main challenge was to use animation to tell a compelling story that would engage viewers while also educating them. Our "a-ha" moment was realizing the power of a simple but well-told story.
Once you settled on your idea, what was your first step in moving it forward?
A team sat down with leaders from NYC’s faith and community organizations. The goal was to find out what kinds of information and skills are needed in order to help them address the mental health issues facing communities in NYC and to establish the best way to not only engage, but educate as wide an audience as possible.
Did the real-world impact meet your expectations? Can you share an example?
What is Psychosis? exceeded our expectations. We were contacted by viewers from all over NYC (and the country!) commenting on how effective they felt the animation was. Many commented that they were learning without even realizing it!
What technologies/media did you use to develop this project (AI, Social Media, WordPress, etc.)?
We used Premiere Pro and Social Media.
Was the tech/medium you chose crucial to conveying your message? If so, why?
Social media was crucial to sharing the animation's message, that psychosis doesn't have to be scary and with appropriate interventions can be managed, because we wanted to reach as wide an audience as possible.
How did this project defy your expectations?
Storytelling and animation are a powerful and moving combination. What we didn't expect was just how successful the combination is when used for educating a general audience.
How will you use technology in future work to create inspiring, cutting-edge projects that also make a difference in people’s lives?
We are currently working on our next mental health animation, this time we're tackling eating disorders. Can't wait to share it with our audience!