Chronicles

Exploring the design of data-driven narratives, using the power of storytelling to provide insights into users’ mental health by allowing them to better understand the negative patterns in their thoughts.

Role

  • Project Lead
  • UX Specialist
  • CHISEL

Overview

Depression and anxiety among college students have been on the rise globally. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has emerged as an empirically reinforced and effective treatment. However, factors like cost, lack of resources, misguided prioritization and stigmatization of mental health issues in the Global South limit students’ access to psychotherapy. While technology can bridge this gap, research shows current self-guided mHealth apps for CBT are not always evidence-based and have limited efficacy compared to therapist-guided alternatives.

Through Chronicles, we wanted to explore whether interactive storytelling and other gamification mechanisms can increase the efficacy of a self-guided mHealth app, while drawing from empirically supported CBT protocols. We designed an mHealth application with contextualized storylines to help students learn psychological concepts and better identify the negative patterns in their thoughts.