RI PARITY INITIATIVE
"The RI Mental Health Parity Initiative is a public awareness and education effort to help empower people to understand and assert their right to health insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorder treatment and services."
As a life-long sufferer of anxiety and trichotillomania, I know how important it is to have access to the resources and information you need. I was thrilled to be involved in this project; what is better than creating a safe online space for people when they more need it?
I was tasked with creating illustrations that would breathe some life into the RI Parity website. Because the people who will visit RI Parity could be dealing with difficult mental health issues or know someone in crisis, I felt it was essential to make images that would be non-threatening and hopeful. These illustrations would be interspersed throughout the website and sit alongside photographs, so in order to set the tone I created a large banner illustration of a lighthouse that would be the very first thing someone would see upon visiting the Parity Homepage. Lil' Rhody derives a great deal of state pride from its lighthouses, and symbolically the lighthouse represents hope, so everything just jived.
Because the website required a series of illustrations I focused on creating three people, or avatars, shown interacting in different ways. Representing diversity was incredibly important in this case because these three people needed to represent the entire diverse population of Rhode Island. I wanted anyone visiting the site to feel they had representation there. Overall I used soft, non-threatening colors and simple, repetitive imagery. It is my hope that everyone who visits RI Parity will be comforted and encouraged by these illustrations, and more likely to engage with the resources on the website in order to get the help they or their loved ones need.