Emphasis: Strategic Organizational Communications
Over a year ago now, I found myself in need of help. I didn’t know where to go, what to look for, or what I would even find. I had to find my own therapist, work out costs, find a doctor, figure out what the school had to offer, and so on. It was daunting. Plus, I still find new information and support. I realized that BYU-I had much to offer its students to provide support for a number of issues. From counselors to exercise programs to anxiety workshops, there’s a lot out there. But the students at BYU-I may not know this. It’s likely many don’t, especially considering we can hardly remember the names of the buildings we go to for class. I decided all of that information needed to be compiled in one place. I chose to make a mental health calendar for the entirety of Spring 2023.
Because I had personal experience with struggling with mental health issues, I understand how difficult it is to look for the help one needs. I wanted to simplify that process, and give the students at BYU-I more than one option every day. One they could do at home, or in the surrounding area, that would require a small amount of effort and little to no planning. I also included a second option that would require more effort and would encourage students to use what campus has to offer.
I started by looking into what exactly helps boost one’s mental health. I already knew that almost half of all college students experience symptoms of different mental health issues. But I needed to know what would help. I had a few ideas because of my own experience with mental illness, but I needed to compile a list of simple suggestions and I did not know enough. I found a few websites talking about things that help and I made the list.
I then started looking into why different things help. I set the different ideas into four categories. Exercise, meditation, music, and socialization. I found Ted Talks talking about those specific things. They offered excellent insights and tips. I also went through an app called Headspace to make sure it was appropriate and helpful.
All while compiling this information, I was pitching my plan to different offices and people on campus. Finally, I talked to Brother Taylor at the Wellness Center and we decided it would fit in best with them. Now I had to plan this project in a way that would be sustainable for future semesters. I did this by creating a calendar format using Canva, uploaded all the details into a document on a Google Drive folder and included all of the weeks from one to fourteen.
I still needed the daily suggestions that focused on activities campus offered, which was harder. I reached out to the activities office and found that the weekly activities would stay the same, even though the schedule was not out yet. So I made a list of all the activities offered in a day through the week. After going through and paring up home activities to campus activities for every day of the semester, I needed to put them on the weekly calendar.
Finally, I had my weeks filled in, the design completed, and the information compiled. I also had included every last bit of information you could think of to make sure the calendar would be sustainable. Despite how draining this project was on me because of the reminder it served for what I had to go through on my own, my passion for preventing others from having to do all that digging pushed me forward. I even found myself taking the advice I was compiling. I look forward to helping this project grow before I graduate and hope that the students here at BYU-I find the calendar to have a positive impact on their lives.
Idea Pitching: 3 hours. Finding daily suggestions and compiling list: 5 hours. Digging through Headspace app: 10 hours. Using Headspace app myself for a week to test it: 7 hours. Finding why the suggestions would help: 4 hours. Designing calendar: 7 hours. Filling in calendar: 5 hours. Compiling project instructions: 2 hours. Making project sustainable: 3 hours. Finding spring semester activity calendar: 3 hours. Finding different programs campus offers: 1.5 hour. Idea “negotiation” with wellness center: 2 hours (plus more to come to continue to improve the project). Formatting google drive: 1.5 hour. Finishing touches and getting advice from design students: 1 hour