According to the WHO, "close to 10% of the world's population is affected" by depression or anxiety . Not only does mental distress negatively influence a person's life on an individual level, but it also causes great damage to society as a whole—both economically and socially . One of the most common forms of aid for depression and anxiety is the use of therapy , however, access to the right kind of treatment can be diffcult. There is a lack of trained professionals , especially in public healthcare, which often forces potential clients to endure long waiting periods .
Technology might offer an opportunity to bridge this gap: Everyday technologies like smartphones have become a permanent part of most people's lives on a global scale . Ubiquitous in their nature, they are tools through which we organise ourselves and the world around us . Their normalised, integrated existence in everyday life could lend itself to the support and maintenance of mental health, leading technologically inclined people to access digital self-care. Self-care could be dened as the act of looking after yourself as a holistic system to inspire balance and wellbeing. It requires a person to recognise their emotional, physical and spiritual needs and to nd an appropriate outlet for them.
Most of the available mental health technology (mHt) tend to be applications (mmHa) with a focus on depression or anxiety base their therapeutic effect on "Cognitive Behavioural Therapy" (CBT) . This type of mHt tends to aim for a clinical, all-encompassing therapy approach: It is meant for long-term, consistent use . However, they are also aimed at the individual person, with the implicit assumption to be used in their private space, by themselves. As part of mental health management, there is an opportunity for the creation of a shared, collaborative benecial "empathetic space"  for more than one person; to share emotions and connect with others through a digital experience.
Engaging with technology that allows for openness and vulnerability in a group requires the right kind of setting and mindset to ensure that it is a carthartic, yet safe experience for each participant. Museums, as semi-public spaces containing art, allow for experimental and otherwise "odd" interactions between people. They also grant people permission to be curious, engaged and investigative. The National Videogame Arcade (NVA), being a museum for video games, also allows for playfulness in an interactive, digital way. It also offers space for playful chance encounters and collaboration with other visitors.
In my practise-led PhD, I will explore technology as a fundamental tool for "shared" self-care and the potential of spatial "togetherness", both virtual and physical, to encourage well-being. Participatory design principles  and humanistic psychology  will provide fundamental guidance to build a strong theoretical foundation for each of my individual studies (technology probes in the wild)—by integrating the lived experience and expertise of mentally distressed people, game and experience designers, human-computer interaction researchers and mental health professionals.
This author is supported by the Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training at the University of Nottingham (RCUK Grant No. EP/L015463/1) and The National Videogame Arcade.