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“A Teen’s Diary about Mental and Emotional Health”

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Creators: Litza
a High School Student from Mouse & DIIT Design League @ Bronx International HS
Screen Shot 2021 05 19 at 10 47 22 AM

About this Project:

My mental and emotional health diary is a half book / half diary that has been made in order to tell the stories of those teenagers who wanted to share their experience and be heard. This diary covers topics such as depression, sadness and loneliness. The goal of this diary is to help teenagers who are going through a difficult moment, and to let them know that they’re not alone.

Inspiration: This diary tells my story, as well as the stories of those close to me who have found themselves inside a dark path, which leads to misfortune and sadness. This has been made for those who have also fallen into this world of darkness. This is my way to tell you that you're not alone.

In order to make this diary, I had to capture what the mind of a teenager going through difficulties would look like, which is why I had to think of different designs that could represent those thoughts and feelings.

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Community Feedback:

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Feedback from the Judges:

👏 Account Manager at Clark — Emoti-Con Judge
I love the idea of a diary that isn't just a diary. Especially for people who suffer from depression or anxiety, writing can be a fantastic outlet but a book of blank pages might be intimidating - this is a great way to combine writing with hearing other people's stories. I think something that might be beneficial is adding in information about what helped the other teens - e.g. coping strategies - or other resources to help. Overall I think it's a really strong project that could help a lot of people.

👏 Director of Instructional Design, 2U Boot Camps at 2U Inc. — Emoti-Con Judge
This is a very impressive project! I love the design and I love the idea of creating a diary for teens struggling with their mental health that is preceded by stories of other teens who have been through the same thing. I also think you're super brave to put your own story into this project. As someone who struggled with my mental health as a teenager, I could relate to all of the stories in here. In your next version, I would love to see the diary include a list of places that people can turn to for help and also some advice on each page that the person is writing on. The advice could be things like "Even if you feel alone, try confiding in someone you trust about how you are feeling. It might help you feel better to talk about it."

👏 CEO at Mouse — Emoti-Con Judge
WOW! This project is an inspiring combination of artistry, personal insight, community support, and emotional wellness tactics that mental health professionals recommend. The presentation is smart and inviting. Litza has done what very few can do right now -- created a safe space where all emotions are welcome, respected, and validated. Writing down our dark emotions helps us validate their existence and process them so we can continue our forward journey in life. The design and sometimes whimsical use of typically dark iconography (black cats, dark clouds, crows) provide a glorious sense of companionship and hope for those sharing their stories of loneliness, self-doubt, and pain. The participating authors share deeply personal and compassionate words including very hopeful diary entries about living and laughing. This is a project of the highest quality and artistic integrity. It is ready to be published right now. Let's get this student an agent. It's beautiful!

👏 Admissions Counselor at University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design — Emoti-Con Judge
WOW! I felt this project. I was very lonesome as a teenager and I really could've used something like this growing up! This project speaks to a community and age group that is crucial to the future of our society. This also addresses the important discussion around mental health and healthy emotional expression. The design speaks to the tone of the subject, but I wonder what consideration there could be when it comes to the color scheme or theme? Would love to see how this resonates with a lighter color scheme! Overall, This is noteworthy design with a really nifty animated ad to boot! Kudos. #YouAreNotAlone<3

👏 Media Solutions Architect at The Walt Disney Company — Emoti-Con Judge
What I enjoyed most about this project was the design repetition. The monochromatic design - which echoes Rorschach inkblots - ties together all of the different design elements even as we progress through each of the four characters' complex stories. The result creates cohesiveness throughout the book. It also sets up an expectation when it comes time for the reader to become a writer. The relationship between design repetition and the repetition effect in human psychology seems intentional. When it is broken by blank pages, there is a need to want to fill it. I wonder if there's a way to sequence the book so that there is more reader/writer involvement throughout instead of the very end? Really impressed with this project. Great work!

Feedback from the Community:

E. 👏 a High School Student from BxIHS
Thank you for doing this it's inspirational and amazing!
Victor Pinnock 👏 a Teacher and/or Educator from Bronx International High School
Your work is amazing! 👏🏽
This project is so inspirational and filled with great art and relatable stories. I was happy to see your process and the iterations you did of your work. The animated video is amazing as well! great work!!
Ms. Julie 👏 a Community Member from BXIHS
This is really great Litza! I think young people would enjoy using an app like this.
Damaris 👏 a Teacher and/or Educator from NJ
This is a great tool for any age group but especially for a teenager!!!!
👏 a Middle School Student
I am very happy to see this approach to the topic but I agree. This project is amazing because it can allow people to feel connected to something and the fact that they can read stories about other people will help them less alone.
I would just like to add i feel very inspired by you project and i love it.
👏 a Parent and/or Guardian
Laura Ogando 👏 a Technology Professional from NYC DOE, DIIT
I really love what this project is aimed at doing! Mental health, particularly for young people, is such an important topic and yet it's hard to come by resources specifically designed by and for this age group. I see the potential for this to be a great way for students to have an outlet and share their feelings. I'm wondering if the app could also include additional resources where teens can get help, access to free services, and opportunities to learn/connect. Overall, great project!