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No two cases are the same


NO TWO CASES ARE THE SAME

This project is a requirement of the GOA Abnormal Psychology Course. Using the process of design thinking, a challenge in the world of mental health was identified, interviews and research were undertaken, and a solution prototype was developed. Below you will find information about the identified area of concern and my proposed solution. Please feel free to provide feedback on this prototype, using questions such as “How might we…”, “What if….?”, “I wonder….”, “I like…”, and “I wish.” Keep the comments positive, please. For more information on the process of Design Thinking, click here.

BACKGROUND:

I became interested in the Abnormal Psychology course for many reasons but mainly because my family, my friends and I have all been affected by mental illness in one way or another. Going into this course I have heard and experienced many of the stereotypes surrounding mental illness and the barriers they have caused. As I’ve gone through the course I have learned just how much these stigmas affect those suffering from mental illnesses.

 


THE CHALLENGE:

After meeting with two psychologists in my area (Levana Slabodnick and Philip Green), I discovered that the largest problem surrounding mental illness lies in stereotyping. Whether that is stereotyping oneself in believing there is something “wrong” with them or others stereotyping them. These stigmas cause people suffering to be fearful of getting the help they need.

 

Too many people are either poorly educated on mental illnesses or are not educated in the subject at all. There is a general idea that any two people that have the same mental illness go through the same experiences and have the same issues, but that is not the case. Every single person with a mental illness is different making their illness different as well. Throughout my learning experience with the Abnormal Psychology course I have been reading The Globalization of the American Psyche Crazy Like Us by Ethan Watters. From reading this book I have learned how different mental illness is throughout the world because of time and culture. How a person was raised, where they live, their culture and their experiences all shape a person’s belief system. Since we all have different belief systems, we all have a different view on the world. And because we don’t all have the same viewpoint, the criteria to define whether or not we have a mental illness will waver.

Those who are unaware of the differences in mental illness see everyone with one the same way. In many television shows and movies mental hospitals are shown where no one has any control and they all seem crazy. In reality this is not the case. Although yes there are people who have absolutely no control and seem as if they have “lost it” not everyone is like that. Many people there are sane and just need some help getting back on the right track.

In order to decrease the negative stigmas, stereotypes, and connotations surrounding mental illness, we need to educate ourselves and others what it truly means to have a mental illness.


THE SOLUTION:

In order to better educate the general public about mental illness, I want to create a website called “MyStory”. Because I have not yet created the site, I will present it to you in the format of a slideshow.

This video has inspired my project to really fight for a safe place where people can freely share their stories:

 


WHAT’S NEXT?

After collecting more information from YOU GUYS on how to improve the website, I would like to put it into action. I will meet with the our tech crew at my school to discuss the best way to get this website up and running efficiently.

Before I can start I NEED YOUR HELP! Please fill out the 5 question survey below to help me make the best version of this website possible.

Create your own user feedback survey


SOURCES CITED:

http://www.beniyoha.com/2014/10/poetry-faces.html

http://metro.co.uk/2014/02/06/time-to-talk-day-shaking-off-the-stigma-of-mental-health-4265834/

h ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_y97VF5UJcc

h ttps://aidenweber.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/the-devils-burdon/

h ttp://whitmanwire.com/news/2013/02/27/students-silenced-by-mental-health-stigma

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COMMENTS: 4
  1. April 27, 2017 by Jade J

    Hey Kyra 🙂 Your project is so creative and insightful! I love the idea of having a kind of safe space in the form of a website/ social media to talk about the REAL experiences of mental illness. I was wondering if you would have a direct role in regulating conversations on the website or if it would be more like a chatroom for people to create individual discussions. It sounds awesome and I can’t wait to see what happens with it! – Jade

  2. April 30, 2017 by Ecem G

    Hi, Kyra! I love your idea of a website which would act as a haven for people to share their experiences. I think there aren’t many opportunities for people with mental illnesses to talk freely without any fear of judgment, so I believe your site will be beneficial.

  3. April 30, 2017 by Toyin Edison

    This is a really good idea! It’s a really efficient way to get people who just want an understanding community help and to help those who might have anxiety about talking to people or a large group of people about their issues.

  4. April 30, 2017 by Gwen Nzimiro

    Hi Kyra! This is a fantastic idea. I love that people could anonymously share their stories. I wonder if you hope to have the website eventually connected to an organization, or will this perhaps be its own entity? In either case, I can’t wait to see how it develops.

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