My Mental Health & Me
A Virtual Reality Documentary
"Mental health is more than the categorised illnesses and disorders we know..."
Title: My Mental Health & Me
Logline: More than the categories illnesses and disorders we know
Target audience: Youth between the ages of 15 - 35
Background story of main characters
There are three main characters Zamo, Hlengiwe and Babalwa. Their journey of mental health struggle originates at different points in their lives and for different reasons. They share their stories of hardship and overcoming. Zamo provides a male perspective on the topic and how sharing his story helped those around him understand mental health better. Babalwa talks about grief and how she found alternatives ways to help her heal. Hlengiwe shares about trauma in her childhood and how her mental health has always been something she struggled with, emphasising that mental health is more than just the categorised illnesses we know.
Identify the audience
The characters were chosen to reflect the traits in the target audience. The audience is youthful between the ages of 15-35 as this is the age where mental health difficulty is said to be most prevalent. By including both male and female characters we are able to cater for both perspectives so to be inclusive.
The story starts in a studio, where you are introduced to the characters singularly as they explore themes around the stigmatisation of mental health. Then you are faced with a choice and through this choice you are transported on a journey where you engage with one character, sitting along side them as they share their mental health struggles and their journey of overcoming.
Each character is immersed in a different environment making the interaction between you and the character different with each character but also authentic and unique to the character. The beginning of the documentary is shot in studio in order to be able to manipulate the environment so to create the interactiveness we are trying to achieve.
Starts with black. Then words appear asking a question relating to mental health. Then fades to a studio. Each character appears on their own speaking and answering the question in a way that relates to their journey. After each character speaks they fade away. Words appear asking you a question relating to mental health then all three characters reappear surrounding you, saying to you "let me share my story with you". Then by selecting a character you are transported to their environment/world. The character is sitting down and they start to tell you their mental health journey in a conversation style as if the two of you are having a conversation. Once the character is done then you have the option of going back to the beginning and choosing a different character to engage with.