I Would Love Some Thoughts

Hellooo fellow capstoners. In the process of working on my project, I have found that our class discussions in small groups have been the most effective in helping me move forward and make progress in my ideas. So I’d like to continue that to the blog and see if I can get more thoughts from those I have worked with as well as new thoughts from people who haven’t heard my idea. So here it is:

My overall topic is mental health/illness and the stigma on campus at the University of Michigan. In order to do so, I’d like to understand further the line between talking about mental health with positive affects and talking about mental health in a manner that reinforces negative stereotypes.

I plan combine knowledge from research study research done at other campuses with my experiences at Michigan to create a comprehensive survey for University of Michigan students, portraying their overall experiences with mental illness, mental health stigma, and the University’s existing mental health initiatives.

I will then use this research and new knowledge to inform my creation of a mental health campaign, aimed to destigmatize mental health. My current ideas for this right now is somewhat of a photo essay, which would be used to share on social media to reach students. Or I could create a video (not sure of my capabilities for this). But overall, I think that doing something personal, that shows everyone what it looks like to be involved in mental health (whether that means experiences with mental illness or not) and that those people look just like everyone else.

Any thoughts/ideas/comments are appreciated!!!

Also a specific question: does anyone have ideas of how to get this survey out to more of the University of Michigan community than just my friends on Facebook, etc. I’d love to get a diverse participant base and people who don’t know me.

4 thoughts to “I Would Love Some Thoughts”

  1. Hey Hannah,
    I think the idea of creating some sort of mental health awareness campaign is a novel and interesting one for the project. As far as the video idea- I’m not sure if that can fulfill all of your aims for the project, but it can at least be a meaningful component. One idea for the video could be to get students to talk on camera about their experiences with mental health to convey that it’s ok to talk about it and to give unaware students a better idea about what mental health issues are all about.

    As far as getting the survey out, I have a few suggestions: you could post it to one of those Class of 2015 facebook groups so the reach goes further than just your friends or you could email professors and see if they’d be willing to forward it to their classes. Hope this helps.

  2. I actually really like the idea of some kind of photo collage or a website that you could showcase this campaign. You could take a series of pictures and then offer captions to represent the points you want to make about mental health. I kind of like the way instagram or something similar to that could showcase a picture and then when you click on it, you are taken to some text or a bigger idea. I know wix has this feature where you can put a bunch of different pictures and then when you put your cursor over it, it can show text or prompt you to a new page. I used it on my e-portfolio and it looks pretty cool! Plus, everyone likes visuals and pictures are fun.

    I think the website with photos can show that you can work with a new kind of media, and I think it also shows how you can use your skills as a writer to convince people of something through a campaign. Excited to see how it turns out!

  3. Encapsulating mental health involvement through a visual medium could be super cool and definitely grab people’s attention! Getting people to fill out surveys is always a tricky thing though….Do you work anywhere on campus? If so, I would send it out on the group email and ask people to fill it out. That’s what people at my cafĂ© do and it seems to garner a lot of responses! Also, you could always join a larger Umich group on Facebook that includes people you don’t know…although people may need more of an incentive. As for the format of the project itself, I agree with Caroline about using a website like Wix.com. Even WordPress has templates whose front pages are just image mosaics. When the user clicks on it, it could take them to a page that explains that particular person’s story or experience.

  4. Hey Hannah! Yeah I think putting a face to the mental illness is extremely important for your project, but also in general. I’m not sure if this is how you envision it, but the way you describe it, I see it as a sort of Humans of New York, but like Humans struggling with mental health – which is so prevalent on college campuses and ours especially. Have you thought about or potentially using HONY as a model and interviewing people who are willing to tell their story to you and the wider world? I know there are people out there who would be willing to talk about it, I could potentially help direct you to people if you’re looking for some, and maybe caps too could be a place to reach out to see if anyone is interested in.

    Also We do a social justice spotlight every Monday at my resstaff meetings and today one of my staff members did a whole thing on mental health on college campus and how prevalent it is. She used a powerpoint focused on depression and shared her story, so I could potentially get you connected with her as someone who’d be willing to talk/potentially know other people willing to talk if you’re interested! Feel free to talk to me about it in class or email me!

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