The Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands is proud to support Alliance members, Enlighten, to raise awareness of mental health using the emerging technology of Augmented Reality.

We knew as soon as we met Steve and Suzanne that their health and wellbeing use case was a winner. Read more about it for yourselves below…

At some point it was decided that the third Monday of January was the most depressing day of the year. Although here at Enlighten we think the whole concept belittles the struggle that millions of people’s have with depression. However, it is a day that raises awareness of various mental health problems and the support available. With this in mind Enlighten are offering free AR posters through various channels in the UK to support students, staff and the workforce.

One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Enlighten has upgraded its world’s first FREE ‘AugMental Health’ Augmented Reality awareness raising campaign, created with Rethink Mental Illness.

Mental ill-health, including stress, depression and anxiety, is thought to be responsible for 91 million lost working days each year in the UK, more than for any other illness, costing workplaces 24 billion each year. By raising awareness and reducing the stigma associated with mental illness Enlighten want people to become more open about their feelings and help friends, colleagues and family members identify mental health issues in people close to them.

A recent campaign saw a 47% increase in self-referrals via AR posters, 43% increase in self-referrals for anxiety and depression and 27% increase in self-referrals for self-harm and 8% for suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

The day provides an opportunity “for everyone affected by mental health issues to talk about these growing issues, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide”. This year’s theme is young people, the workplace and mental health in a changing world. Therefore, our innovative use of emerging technology is very relevant to raise awareness with the younger & work mobile generation.

We are providing 4x FREE Augmented Reality posters to support sufferers of mental health issues.(Please find attached PDF documents for your organisation to print and place around your campus) There are an additional eight posters available to establishments on request.

These are great updated examples of our work and we are very proud that we have the involvement of not only Rethink and the Chamber of Commerce but also UK Ministry of Defence personnel – The AR campaign has been redesigned specifically for members of the Armed Forces in collaboration with serving military advisors and addresses topics including PTSD, panic attacks, dealing with stress and depression.

Once zapped using a phone with the free downloadable app, the posters are triggered to show a video that gives mental health support and guidance.

These posters can be used as standalone printed awareness raising posters or as Augmented Reality portals that provide point of need support to individuals. Each poster triggers relevant videos that gives mental health support and guidance via AR. Instant support and self-referral options can be accessed via a direct dial national helpline where sufferers/family/work colleagues can discuss mental health issues with trained professionals. Additionally, people are enabled to self-refer with an email to send requesting specific additional information. This simple approach removes barriers, therefore increasing the likelihood that those suffering will ask for support.

To trigger the Augmented reality content you will need to download the Zappar app (free on app store or google play store) and a Wi-Fi or 3G/4G connection. Open the Zappar app and point the device’s camera at the full poster. This will activate the augmented reality trigger and the digital content from the poster.

For more information on how to support this excellent use case of emerging technology please contact Steve Wileman or Suzanne Edwards.