Given the current pandemic we are in, it is clear that the state of our mental health is on a decline, with anxiety being one of the top mental health challenges. It is important to recognize that the pandemic destigmatized the conversation around mental health. More people are opening up to their close friends and family about their mental health because they know that so many others are experiencing the same type of pandemic struggles and are seeking ways to cope with COVID-19. The key issue is that college students fail to adopt healthy practices to cope with their mental health issues. In a recent survey (https://www.jmir.org/2020/9/e21279/), 71% of college students admitted to feeling stressed and anxious because of the COVID-19 outbreak. With extra time at home, college students are more susceptible to aimlessly scroll through social media feeds for hours- in fact, according to a Washington Post article, iPhone screen time reports indicate people’s screen time has increased more than 50% during quarantine (https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/03/24/screen-time-iphone-coronavirus-quarantine-covid/). Multiple research studies already pinpointed there is a correlation between mental health and social media intake: the more time spent on social media platforms, the higher the likelihood an individual may experience depression and anxiety. That said, we want to help female college students shift away from social media platforms and explore resources that will benefit their overall mental health and well-being.
What it does
For our project, we decided to narrow down our target users to female college students ages 18-22. A platform for college females, made by college females (3 developers, 1 product designer) We want to encourage a platform that offers them the resources that can help them tackle their mental health struggles in a healthy way. We want to commit ourselves to help female college students prioritize their mental health. During the current times where everything is uncertain, we want to help the community by fulfilling their needs.
How we built it
We built our website using HTML and CSS.
Challenges we ran into
We initially wanted to implement a chatbot which would also support speech-to-text recognition to allow the user to interact with our site, but as first-time hackers, we felt quite inexperienced to implement this idea over one weekend.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are proud of the design of our site and believe that as we update it with the upcoming features, our site will be a great resource for female college students experiencing mental health struggles.
What I learned
As this was our first hackathon, the whole experience taught us all a lot. The design process, learning to use our skills together to create a project, and experimenting with new features in HTML were some of the key takeaways for us.
What's next for Mental Health
Although the site is not fully completed, with the upcoming features, the website will serve as a platform to help college students tackle their mental health concerns (that may stem from the pandemic and course work load) and get back on track! The final product will be launched soon!
Features: We aim to bring additional features in the application like integrating artificial intelligence to give recommendations on activities based on what the user is feeling, and a chatbot to allow for better communication between the user and the site. We aim to further expand the application by adding a PMS tracker that helps keep a record of the mood swings women go through.