Spill The Tea Telehealth Team 6
Learning about mental health can be more uncomfortable than a self-diagnosis of a rare disease on WebMd. We’re living through a mental health crisis, where decades of denial, limited education, and fundamental faults contribute to a mental health stigma and prevent quality care. A study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness shows that 1 in 5 Americans struggle with mental illness. Additionally, half of all lifetime mental illnesses emerge around the age of 14.
In addition to navigating everyday challenges such as puberty, social dynamics, and schoolwork, the youth now feel the weight of COVID-19, social unrest, and widespread uncertainty. With nearly 13 million middle school students in the United States, a lack of mental health resources and awareness endangers the viability of an entire generation.
Spill The Tea addresses this crisis by offering a software for schools to monitor the wellness of their students.
• Provides a screening for mental health symptoms
• Connects students with relevant wellness resources based on their symptoms
• Refers students experiencing mental health stressors to a licensed telehealth therapist
With this solution, Spill The Tea normalizes mental health wellness for millions of young people who will shape the next generation, ensuring a prosperous future.
Adley Spayd (Project Manager, Senior Business @ IU Bloomington)
Adley led team meetings, organized team tasks and timelines, and held the team accountable for achieving milestones. She was also involved with conducting research, developing business strategies, and marketing.
Jessica Cantor (Junior, Interactive Media Studies & Marketing @ Miami University)
Jessica was responsible for helping develop the BMC, Customer Personas and other Go Team deliverables. She also created the logo and assisted the Pro Team in creating code for the front-end design.
Sujit Meka (Junior, Business @ IU Bloomington)
Sujit was responsible for conducting thorough research in combination with ideation to develop various strategies in our business plan. This work was reflected in the Go Team deliverables of the BMC, Environmental Analysis and more.
Lakshmi Shri (Pro Team Lead & Designer, Graduate Data Science @ IUPUI)
Lakshmi Shri led the Pro team, designed the technical solution, and the database. She created the ER diagram and data dictionary. She also created staff view pages of the web application and visualizations.
Naga Deepika Sreeghakollapu (Software Engineer, Graduate Computer Science @ Indiana State University)
She is a member of the Pro Team and contributed to the creation and management of database and also developed screens for the web application.
How did you decide on this customer segment, problem, and solution?
From interviews with Indiana healthcare professionals, we discovered there is a critical gap in children’s mental health services, especially in Indiana where a stigma around mental health is prevalent. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, symptoms for half of all lifetime mental illnesses occur by the age of 14. It is common knowledge that any medical problem has better outcomes the sooner treatment occurs. Mental health is no different; however, the stigma surrounding the topic contributes to the reality that the average person waits 10 years after the first symptoms occur to seek help, according to the Pew Trusts Organization. How can someone seek the treatment they need, when the stigma limits them from discussing it?
Our mission is to destigmatize mental health by increasing accessibility to wellness resources. We designed a solution for middle school students because support is essential during this key developmental stage. The software we created for schools leverages an 18 question survey to identify symptoms of mental illness. Based on each student’s responses, they will automatically receive personalized wellness resources and if needed, referrals to telehealth therapists.
This solution solves issues related to stigma because every student will have access to the screening and resources provided. Even if an individual didn’t want to seek professional help, this tool would provide relevant resources to help students help themselves.
By making mental health a conversation in schools, more people will understand the signs and symptoms. Additionally, the fears around talking about it or seeking help will diminish. This awareness will have a long term impact on their lives, as they will know from their pre-teen years that mental health is something that should be addressed and cared for.
How did your team build and iterate on the solution?
Three versions of the solution and database design were created to accommodate the changes suggested by our teammates and coaches. Once the design was finalized, we started building the solution.
We initially used Metabase (Dataview add-on app) on Heroku to create visualizations. When the published visualization was accessed, the page did not load as the app was a free tier app. So we decided to use Tableau instead for the visualizations.
We iterated the solution as per the feedback received from the team and finally deployed our solution on Heroku.
We conducted 3 interviews with Atalie Schroering (Health Occupations Students of America Teacher), Erin Day (Licensed Social Worker), and Rand Sulaiman (Ascension - Wisconsin Pharmacy and Clinical Operations Manager).
Diagrams & Designs
Key Tools, Libraries, and Frameworks
PHP: We chose PHP as our scripting language as it is simple and easy to implement. Our team had prior experience with PHP and this was our strength.
MySQL: Database to store the required information like student data, guardian data, survey questionnaire, student’s response and staff data.
Tableau: We have used Tableau for Data Visualization. Using the data from the database the school’s counselor can view customized visualizations based on the student's grade, test number and score.
GitHub: We have set up a Github repository to dump our code and maintain it.
Heroku: We have used Heroku to host our Web Application. The web application is connected to our Github Repository to facilitate continuous integration and continuous deployment.
Visio: We used Visio to design the solution and the database
If you had another 5 weeks to work on this, what would you do next?
Before implementing the software into schools, we would conduct focus groups and user testing to receive feedback from a diverse group of students that represent our target users. Since our solution is designed for middle school students, it is critical to understand our users so the software aligns with their preferences, as well as their needs.
Before launching, we would update the software to connect personalized resources based on the individual’s survey responses. This would ensure students have access to relevant information, even if they don’t need or don’t want to seek professional help. We also want to provide schools the option to link their own resources on the feedback page.
We would research and contact telehealth therapists who specialize in mental health for children. We would add the software capability to automatically notify school counselors if a student was experiencing enough symptoms to receive a referral for a telehealth therapist.
We would reach out to children's mental health non-profit organizations, such as the National Association for Mental Illness and others in Indiana. By aligning with partners who share our mission, we would develop long term, mutually beneficial relationships. These partnerships would help us with developing resources and introducing Spill The Tea to private middle schools. In return, we would share our partners resources to their target audience through our software.