Our inspiration for Vent came with the notion that in our communities, we have noticed that mental health care is impersonal, inaccessible, and stigmatized which leads people to forgo getting help or even expressing their emotions. We wanted to create Vent in order for people to have healthy coping mechanisms with day-to-day stressors and a lifeline to reach out to if one is ever in a more dire situation.
What it does
Vent offers a variety of resources for people no matter their circumstances, providing a safe space where anyone can share their feelings and get help from our trained volunteers 24/7. Volunteers connect emotionally and personally with people to make them feel heard and allow them to alleviate their anxiety. Our volunteers are screened and trained to handle a wide range of conversations, from trauma to identity to mental health and many more topics. Our site also provides meditation and mindfulness tips to reduce anxiety and stress. Our overall mission is to help people gain relief through interpersonal conversation and relaxing home therapies.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Our biggest challenge that we ran into for this hack was that all of us had very different coding experience; most had none. This included a lot of troubleshooting and countless hours of talking to mentors, Googling, and fixing our code.
One challenge we ran into was that when we shared our pages with each other, the design lost some components and the formatting was not how we envisioned. We eventually realized that we linked the wrong CSS page to the HTML, so we solved this problem by linking the proper CSS page.
Individually, we each had minor challenges specific to each page, such as formatting, styling, and functionality. As we all became more comfortable with HTML and the corresponding CSS code, we were able to overcome these difficulties and create a successful website.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are extremely proud of all that we have accomplished in the last 36 hours, including learning how to collaborate, code, and also create a successful website with a chat room linked into it. For most of us, this was our first time coding, so we are thrilled we were able to produce a styled and functional project. We exceeded our original expectations regarding what we would be able to accomplish with basic skills and limited time.
What we learned
Most of us learned HTML and CSS for the first time while others perfected their skills in these languages. In addition, members of our team learned how to use Git and troubleshoot with the help of those around us to further refine our newly acquired skills. We all learned how to effectively collaborate with each other, capitalizing on each other’s strengths and helping to resolve each other’s problems, to make the best possible website.
What's next for Vent
We want to spread the word about Vent around schools, public facilities, and online so that it becomes an accessible resource for someone in any stage of life and any mindset. Our goal is to recruit a significant number of trained volunteers to effectively support users. In the future, we want to work with health insurance companies to be able to offer Vent as a benefit. Health insurance companies tend to prefer proactive techniques rather than reactive treatments, so we believe that this would be a great tool for them to provide as an incentive for their customers to get lower insurance prices.