When designing for humanity at its most vulnerable, those with the greatest interest in addressing mental health are often closest to its cause.
One degree of separation can be all that divides us from close friends and family struggling with mental health, addiction or both. As the child of a parent admitted to a behavioral health facility, this hits close to home. My namesake is a family member who lost his life to addiction. My godfather is a Vietnam veteran whose invisible war wounds resulted in extended stays with our family to help him get back on his feet. My graduate thesis in wounded warrior polytrauma care was informed by friends’ challenges returning from serving abroad.