Learning Environments and CAPS helping student mental wellbeing

Identifying a mental health related problem and asking for help can be a huge challenge, even more so if you are juggling a busy student timetable and have not had any ‘big drama’ in your life.

Based on successful past collaborations, Learning Environments recently partnered with Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) again to create an innovative promotional video about their services, focused on understanding and assisting students undergoing mental distress and mental health difficulties, and letting them know that it is OK to ask for help.

The project features a couple of friends narrating the story of their friendship, and how this got stronger after identifying the need to ask for help. In fact, the centrepiece theme of the project is exactly that – it will be OK, no matter what.

Man and woman embracing
Still from 'When Alice needed some help'

For Orania from CAPS, it was particularly important to feature a journey that could be everyone’s journey. In essence, the objective was not to portray extreme stories, but perhaps ‘minor’ problems that are often underestimated, but still have a high impact on the mental health status of the students. For this reason, Learning Environments decided to work with actors. From the very beginning the idea of working with real people that were suffering mental health issues themselves was dismissed (that would have defeated the purpose). Since the idea was to come up with a standard situation that could engage with a variety of students, it was agreed to work with actors so the starting point could be customised.

man talking to sad looking woman
Still from 'When Alice needed some help'

The actors workshopped around their relationship for a whole morning, and together with the teams in Learning Environments and CAPS, they came up with a working frame that was both realistic and relatable. No script was written, but they really worked around making the situation credible. The promo also features some shots of the counsellors and psychologists at CAPS, with the idea of portraying them as approachable professionals who are here to provide support.

Learning Environments is once again very proud to have collaborated with CAPS on such an innovative piece, and hopes that this promo will encourage students to ask for help when needed, empowering them to look for solutions.

man and woman standing side by side
Still from 'When Alice needed some help' 

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