Cooling Crises: A Resource at Your Fingertips
This project is a requirement of the GOA Abnormal Psychology Course. Using the process of design thinking, a challenge in the world of mental health was identified, interviews and research were undertaken, and a solution prototype was developed. Below you will find information about the identified area of concern and my proposed solution. Please feel free to provide feedback on this prototype, using questions such as “How might we…”, “What if….?”, “I wonder….”, “I like…”, and “I wish.” Keep the comments positive, please. For more information on the process of Design Thinking, click here.
Crisis Text Line gave a presentation at my school and I was floored at how useful this technological advancement in mental health support could be to me, my peers, my parents, my friends’ parents, my younger siblings, and so on and so forth. I wanted to see how I could use this information to address the stigma surrounding seeking mental health help, and create an easily accessible presentation for youth in my community that might not know about this amazing organization as a source of strength.
A video about how the CTL organization works, and how fast it has grown across the nation:
As I said before, CTL came to my school to present about how their organization works. I was eventually able to interview the CTL Bay Area Director, Libby Craig. Throughout our exchange I became inspired to construct a concise presentation about the advantages and great work this organization could do for communities all around the nation, all around the world. However, this presentation would not only be for high school students, but would be geared more towards youth ages 10-13, kids the tender age right before teenhood. I wanted to gear my focus toward this age group because I knew this upcoming summer I would be a camp counselor for those specific ages, and I could easily be given a platform to express the importance of seeking help in times of crisis. I thought about myself at those ages, and how much better I would be prepared for teenhood if I had gone in with at least one trusted source of support under my belt. And an extremely accessible resource at that, a resource that youth who are shy or afraid to seek help out loud could use in confidence. CTL not only supports texters in the moment, but helps guide the texter to support very local to them, whether that be a guidance counselor, a therapist, a psychologist, etc. My ultimate goal for my project is to work toward smashing the stigma surrounding seeking mental health help by advocating for this organization to youth audiences, and arming youth in my community with a source of support through life’s crises.
The following are screenshots from a slideshow I plan to present to my campers this summer. I am still in the process of deciding whether or not I should present this to my campers alone, or to my campers and their parents, or to my campers and their parents separately.
At the beginning of my presentation I plan to intro with the video I linked above as well as with roughly the following paragraph:
The teenage years of one’s life are foundational to their physical and emotional development for the rest of their lives. However, approximately 20% of American teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood. Likewise, approximately 20% of American teens suffer from a form of anxiety disorder. Teenagers all across the nation experience an array of issues that can be especially difficult to deal with: family issues, abuse, eating disorders, substance abuse, stress, school & social pressures, etc. It is especially difficult just barely coming out of an age of time when mental health issues were embarrassing, a detriment and burden to one’s status, and worst of all, seeking help for these mental health issues was shamed and looked down upon. I recently just learned about Crisis Text Line, and I thought about myself at your age. If I had known about this resource going into high school, would my experiences have been different? Better even? This is why this presentation is so important, CTL can be a very helpful source to have under your belt, especially at this age.
Ask your audience for their help. Ask them to provide you with feedback, questions, etc. about your project. Take a moment here and quickly teach them how to give feedback the way that we have learned to give good feedback with Design Thinking. “What if….? How might we….? I wonder…..?”
The final steps of my project is to find ways to alter my presentation in the slightest so that it is more conducive to the age group I’m aiming for. I am also in the process of finalizing the date for my presentation as well as advertising for it through an email to my campers’ parents. I also really want to build upon the feedback I receive, so please do not hesitate to contact me with suggestions, critiques, etc.!