3 min to read
It's Okay Not to Be Okay
Covid 19 has impacted a lot of people physically; but mental health has been severely overlooked. A study from the CDC shows that symptoms of depressive disorder have been reported in FOUR TIMES as many adults from the same time period last year. [source 1] (6.5 compared to 24.3)-and this statistic only represents adults. Developing teenagers require more socialization [source 2] and emotional stimuli than their adult counterparts. Not to mention, a drastic shift in education can make things even harder for teens-especially in reestablishing ‘ a new normal’ to allow healthy functioning! That’s why we wanted to create something to bring needed attention towards a vastly overlooked branch of modern healthcare, mental wellbeing.
Some background about us before we start: we are a group of juniors and seniors from Penn Hills High School, with varying levels of coding knowledge. Something that I think ties us together on such a personal level is a passion for programming, admittedly for many different reasons., but our teacher, Mr. Gabrielson, creates a positive environment for us to individually prosper and pushes us to exceed our own expectations for ourselves.
We chose to use the CMU graphics library because it is Python based and that is what we use in our past STEM Coding 2 and current 3 classes, then the CMU program is currently used in Coding 1 and 2. We wanted to make something that actually could be used in everyday life by just about everyone. Which is a sort of “wellness bot” that could track a user’s mental wellness in daily life. It is important that we normalize talking about mental health and to get help when we need it. We wanted to make our program approachable and calming, so we paired pastels with cute animal mascots to create a hospitable environment.
The core feature of this program is the well-being assessment, this assessment can curate referrals, based on the severity of certain symptoms. This allows the program to gauge your development overtime. Just to remind you…WE ARE NOT MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS and this app is only a basic tool and is NOT a replacement for professional help. Our number one priority is to guide people towards the help they need and we understand that resources can be hard to come across independently-but that’s where we come in! We want it to be easier for teens, like us, to take the first step in taking control of their own well-being in a harsh world. A big feature we implemented was mini games, which can be used to offer a healthy distraction for someone overwhelmed.
These fun games have positive themes that can temporarily distract you from issues, calm you down, or motivate useful habits. Something simple, like a flower care game, as a simple responsibility can help create routine for daily success.[Source 3] Mindfulness is an important, yet overlooked part of life. Take some minimalistic time for yourself and breathe! You control a mouse as it chases a ball. This offers a quick way to get your mind off of stress. Setting goals is important in making progress. We have a list of goals for you to work with.You are able to cancel a goal. Life changes and so do priorities. If you need a place to vent, our Journal lets you type whatever is onto your mind. Login allows multiple users to access files and play separately from each other.
Source 1: https://rogersbh.org/about-us/newsroom/blog/socialization-impacts-children-and-teens Source2: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm#:~:text=The%20prevalence%20of%20sympto ms%20of,versus%206.5%25) Source 3: https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/HealthU/2020/06/02/why-routines-are-important-for-mental-health/
Creators: David, Chloe, Rachael, Alexa