Straight Up


  • Dept. of Design, Monash University
  • NEXUS, St. Vincent\'s Hospital


Straight Up is a website that contains six animated documentaries that present the lived experience of people in recovery from mental health and substance use. Interviews were recorded with consumers and carers then animated to both conceal their identity and more expressively realise their story. See

Key Features


In the dual diagnosis sector, it is common for individuals with lived experience to present to groups of clinicians and social workers. Video can be an effective way of telling this story, but many videos present a two-dimensional perspective of their lives.

The Straight Up series of motion graphic documentaries presents are more complex narrative from both carer and consumer point of view. Audio interviews were recorded and edited. These interviews were individually animated by recent graduates from Monash University to give each story its own personality. The subjects gave final approval before release.


Launched in May 2018, these videos are in use by NEXUS as part of their clinician training and advocacy. It is freely available to all interested in mental health, dual diagnosis, drug and alcohol issues and have been viewed hundreds of times overall.


It is not always possible to secure an individual to present on lived experience. Additionally, an individual may not wish to be the \’poster child\’ for a particular cause. Straight Up gives ready access to these stories at any time. Many in the sector don\’t realise how services are experienced by consumers and carers. The Straight Up animations builds empathy and understanding with the subjects for these providers.


Straight Up presents the lived experience of dual diagnosis individuals anonymously and expressively. So far, the animations have received overwhelmingly positive response from those in dual diagnosis support services with interest in more productions for different organisations. Their power comes from the authentic voice of the subject combined with the symbolic language of motion graphics. But for me, the most positive response comes from the subjects themselves. Johan: “This is amazing. I love it and absolutely go ahead and use it.” And Brendan “I think you\’ve done an awesome job of matching the images to the words.”


Animations voiced by lived experience consumers and carers.

All videos approved by subjects before publication.

Animations created by recent graduates transitioning to the workforce.

Original soundtrack created for Straight Up by Melbourne musician Jasmine Fiske.

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Youtube / Vimeo

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