health and wellness illustrations

Illustrated Report: Mental Health Commission of Canada

More than two thirds of adults with mental health problems say that symptoms first appeared in their youth - so the Mental Health Commission of Canada knew that for mental health solutions to be effective, they need to include youth voices.

Policies for youth, informed by youth

The MHCC Youth Council had a unique idea: “translate” the new National Mental Health Strategy report into a youth perspective. This new document would highlight the experiences of young people – and for the first time, would include youth voices working towards real system-level changes. But had this ever been done before?

Everyone should understand a national strategy: make it visual

MHCC says that to their knowledge, this was the “first time Canadian youth contributed to the field of knowledge exchange by translating a policy document written largely for, and by, adults.” Illustrating the report was the core strategy to making the policy document accessible to youth – and since 1 in 5 people is also affected by mental illness, the report needed to be accessible to the general public too. Drawing Change read the report, and drew the entire report in English and French with hundreds of small illustrations. Statistics, stories, and complex concepts are made clear –  and add meaning on every page.

Health research benefits from knowledge translation

Knowledge translation moves research from the experts or journals and into the hands of the people who can use it. MHCC has powerful knowledge translation tools – like this popular report – to bring mental health research to the public, while also decreasing stigma. And as a bonus, the images get new life each year on #Bell Let’s Talk Day: the images are retweeted hundreds of times on the MHCC social media annually. Don’t let your mental health research sit on a shelf –bring it to life with visuals.