Inspiration

Just as our body gets sick sometimes, our brain gets sick too. We all have mental health, and it needs to be treated. One report shows that one in five Americans suffered from some sorts of mental illness. And this number is even higher in university, about 50% of college students report anxiety and depressions in some degrees. Mental illness is in crisis! A lot of people didn't just get mentally ill overnight, it comes from broken relationship, failures, stress, fears, and if we don't talk about it, it would keep piling up until one day we can no longer think rationally. And as a society, we stigmatize mental health and judged people harshly because of their mental illness when we hear they have mental health issues. But if we don't talk about it, if we don't treat it and maintained it, it can only get worse and worse.

Mentotality.com comes from three words:

  1. _ mentality _: most of the time, it is not about what happened around us, but about how we think about it and how we interpret it.
  2. _ mentor _: we allow alumni, faculty, parents who want to volunteer to support the students, in a way similar to being a mentor for the student
  3. _ totality _ : Knowing that you are not alone and that there are people out there who want to support you.

What it does

My website allows college students to register with their school email and receive supports from school alumni, faculty, peers, parents, all in an anonymous way. These people most likely have walked in the same shoes. They can share their experience with the students who were struggling with some sorts of mental health. Furthermore, it is a safe space for students to vent, and to support each other. Often time, we don't tell people around us what happened because we are afraid of being judged, but this website encourages students to listen and to support each other.

How I built it

I used HTML5, CSS, and Bootstrap for the front end, and Python, along with a framework Flask and database SQLite to build the backend. The website allows students/faculty/alumni/parents to log in and sign up (but their identity will not be shown). Students can post their story, falling into eight categories: Prejudice and Discrimination, School stress, grief and death, body image, addiction, sexual orientation, romantic relationship, and Miscellaneous.

Challenges I ran into

Originally I wanted it to not only build the site that allows students to engage with one another in an anonymous way, but also building a "therapist" chatbot that can allow everyone, not just for students to use. But since I worked on this project entirely by myself and have never created a website before, I ran into several roadblocks along the way that took me a long time to resolve.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I am proud that it finally works.

What I learned

LOTS of web developments.

What's next for Mentotality

I want to get the "therapist" chatbot working using Deep Learning. I also wanted to implement an algorithm that can send out email to supporters (alumni, parents, faculty) based on their experience and the comments that they gave.

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