Fall 2006  

A Collaboration between Designmatters, The Agency @ ArtCenter and The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

The Stigma publication is the result of a singular collaboration between a remarkable group of individuals and institutions brought together by a common objective: to address from a broad educational perspective the complex issue of stigma surrounding mental health. Specifically, the intention was to deter stigma and counteract the vicious cycle of hurtful behaviors that harbor prejudice and can result in various types of discrimination throughout our society. The task at hand: conceive a series of outreach campaigns with an overarching message of hope and understanding.

The target audience for the project was first identified by the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Their vision was for a campaign that would reach children four to six years of age, and be disseminated in the environment where children grow into full social beings—preschool and elementary school—before prejudice is ingrained. In the fall of 2006, a team of 12 senior advertising students from Art Center College of Design’s communication “think tank,” the Agency, accepted the challenge of turning the Mental Health Commission’s initial vision into a series of campaign proposals. With the facilitation of Designmatters at Art Center, the College-wide initiative exploring social and humanitarian applications of design, the multidisciplinary research and design exploration that ensued allowed for an in-depth examination of many of the key questions related to mental health, diversity and difference across communities.

The short Stigma Campaign film, also a result of the collaboration, asserts an overview of the Stigma campaigns key issues and represents the first phase of implementation for the campaign’s dissemination by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. The film will ultimately be distributed to public access cable channels, educational institutions and other community partners across Los Angeles County.



This book presents the outcomes of an emotional studio addressing the stigma often associated with differences stemming from mental health, and other, issues.

A collaboration between The Agency @ Art Center and The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

Published by Designmatters

Download PDF