I chose Loughborough after seeing the work that my supervisors had done. I wanted to be a part of a community that thinks across, against, beyond, and in collaboration with various disciplines. It seemed the University’s ethos and my own would line up perfectly.
I most enjoy the permission to bring all my interests and skills into my research. I appreciate being able to talk about philosophy, neuroscience, and psychology in the same breath that I talk about poetry, cartoons, and flash fiction.
I hope that my research is a part of the movement towards making mental health knowledge and care less intimidating and normalized, and contributes to the translation of symptoms and mental health issues into terms that can be recognized and more readily addressed. I hope that through stories and animations mental health issues can be nuanced and explained in a way that makes the topics more approachable and someone is more likely to ask for help or successfully help themselves when confronted with a mental health concern.
My project is looking at the role of interactive and experimental narratives on mental health literacy and self-concept. I believe changing the ways we engage with a story can change the ways the story and its lessons, characters, insights, emotions, etc. engage with us.
I am most concerned with the inaccessibility of mental health care. So much of the language around diagnosing and symptomology is coded so that recognition of symptoms as they live in our bodies becomes harder and harder. It is not only systems and language that occlude this knowledge, but stigma perpetuated by ignorance that deters too many from seeking appropriate care.
I believe the community of academics invested in these issues will help me stay on track to be continuously learning and emerged in seeking knowledge and tools towards my research and personal goals.
I want to learn as much as possible about mental health and alternative forms of storytelling to become a better writer, teacher, and advocate of mental health wellness.