Helping newly diagnosed children and their families come to terms in their disease.
For a child, being diagnosed with diabetes is a major life-changing event. Being emotionally immature, they have difficulty in dealing with the angry and upset, often feeling they are on their own, and asking themselves “Why me?”
Eli Lily and Westmead Hospital wished to produce a booklet that would help both the children and their families deal with the emotional difficulties that they were going through after first diagnosis. This would be a booklet written by kids for kids so they could communicate in their own words and pictures the roller coaster of emotions that they were experiencing. The aim was to provide hope and inspiration to help them better cope with the condition and then add their own contribution to help others in the future.
Westmead clinicians had children draw and write their feelings, as a way of releasing their pent up emotions. The results were astonishing, vivid and revealing. We met with clinicians to establish an audience profile. This guided our design journey, researching children’s books and the type of language and illustrative style which best suited the audience. Using simple shapes and vibrant colours created a vehicle for the children’s words to shine and clearly convey their stories. Including space in the book for kids to add their own feelings was integral to the therapeutic success of the project.
The books have provided therapists with a valuable tool to help young children deal with their diabetes. We’re very proud to have been able to contribute to the psycological and physical wellbeing of such a young and vulnerable age group. Working with an organisation like Westmead Children’s Hospital has always been a particularly fulfilling experience.