To Be a Friend is a mental health application that simulates the experience of comforting a loved one with depression for an extended time while maintaining your own mental health. Depending on your choices during this interactive narrative, the experience will end in multiple ways. The application brings awareness to spotting signs of suicidal thoughts, empathizing and supporting a friend who’s struggling, choosing kind and gentle word choices to encourage them, etc. By taking advantage of the affordance of feedback and replay, interactors can learn how their specific word choices and decisions could impact a person with depression.
Designer: Vi Nguyen