Flinders University’s ‘Good Vibes Experiment,’ a campaign to promote student wellbeing, is being made available at no charge to the wider education sector.
The colourful and approachable project was developed by Flinders University students in collaboration with creative media staff and mental health professionals at Flinders University and creative digital agency Mango Chutney.
The creators wanted to share practical ways to enhance wellbeing while also
highlighting support services.
With the tagline “there’s lots of ways to improve your mental health, we’ve made a stack for you to try” this campaign encourages students to taste-test a range of psychologically founded methods.
This is supported by the campaign’s central element – an activity book that introduces students to 20 evidence-based wellbeing tactics and 40+ simple, fun activities that encapsulate these tactics. If students don’t like one of the 20 tactics, they’re encouraged to move on and try another, knowing there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution to mental health.
In 2017, Orygen Youth Health released the report Under the radar: the mental health of Australian university students. The report noted that more than half of tertiary students aged 16–25 years reported high or very high psychological distress. This is why the Good Vibes Experiment campaign is important.
The Good Vibes Experiment is about developing the knowledge and skills necessary to improve, sustain, repair, or strengthen mental health. The solution is a fun, carnivalesque aesthetic with a slight mystical twist – a tongue in cheek reference to Gen Z/Millennial tarot obsessions combined with retro style.
To date, more than 5,000 activity books have been distributed over Flinders University campuses, including 400 to rural and remote students through an opt-in request system. There have been more than 3,000 visits to the Good Vibes Experiment website and the unique and engaging social media posts have reached more than 20,000 people.
Monique Kneepkens, Australian Graphic Design Association Juror, awarded Good Vibes with the Judges Choice saying: “…In a time where students’ mental health has been heavily affected on a global scale, this project is
a breath of fresh air, providing students with a toolkit to self-care and a pathway to positivity… The design approach is a standout amongst conventional mental health projects and absolutely nails its target audience.
“Every piece of collateral is filled with meaning – care and craft is evident on every touchpoint and they’ve created a foundation on which they can build in years to come. A wonderful and meaningful body of work, that leaves you smiling.”
The campaign continues with the focus of reaching as many students as possible. The activity book is now in its third print run and has expanded to include more promotional assets.
To celebrate, Flinders University has waived copyright over the materials to ensure that they are freely available to any organisation including
“I’m super proud of the work we have done and the way we developed the campaign – I can’t wait to see other universities and schools take advantage of our work, I’m sure the impact we’ve seen at Flinders will be echoed wherever it goes,” says Indianna Marrone, psychology student and champion of the campaign.
Dr Gareth Furber, subject matter expert and lead author of the activity book, says: “It is important to reframe how we talk about mental health, as something everyone has and can work to improve, rather than just associating it with mental illness.
“The more awareness we can spread about these simple but powerful techniques, and their benefits, the better we can help people navigate the negative impacts of unavoidable life stressors,” Dr Furber says.