Table of Contents
Challenge reframed. Instead of days off for mental health reasons, have a mental health awareness day for students to learn.
-Peer to peer help
-Mental Health Assessments on the spot
-seminars and talks from people who have gone through mental health problems
-Work with HCC therapists who are already on board
1: Awareness day for the whole school, and eventually other schools around Colorado and the U.S
2: Mental health assessments from therapists. Some people may want to enjoy the festivities but some may realize they need an actual assessment from a licensed doctor.
3: Therapy dogs to help people feel at ease. This will make people feel more comfortable and ultimately draw a bigger crowd for those who may not have mental health issues.
4: Relaxing/energetic music. Crucial for the awareness day to make people feel comfortable.
5: Peer to peer buddy system. For people who may not have friends or someone to talk to about their problems. This peer would be available for sign-up and have training.
6: Training seminar so people know what to look for in mental health awareness. Many people may not see the signs in their friends or family, with this training they will have a better understanding.
7: Learning how to talk to someone who may be suicidal. After speaking to the therapists they talked about how important it is to know “how” to talk to someone who is suicidal and be there for them.
8: Healthy food. This is an important solution because healthy eating has scientifically proven to help mental health. A seminar describing this and recommending what foods would really help.
9: Driscoll greens, This area will be perfect because it will have the most foot traffic for the whole school, even if people weren’t attending they may see it and stop by.
10: On the spot training for attending RA’s. its important for RA’s to know mental health problems when they see it especially for freshmen students in the dorms.
Wicked Problems Analysis
We are choosing the theory of change for our projects problem. The theory of change is a model that shows how small short-term changes have a huge affect long-term. With mental health and our problem within students it wont be major changes instantly that have an impact. It will be smaller changes, daily changes that ultimately end up creating a better place for people with mental health issues. A small change that will lead to long term affects is something like the mental health day our group is trying to create. The more the chancellors of the school and staff are aware and are on board the better. This awareness is great but creating a real event will show students they care and are willing to make changes is great. We as a group are finding where the theory of change needs to happen and how, creating this mental health day is a small change that will have long term affects.
The currents needs of the people we wish to help are to generate more connections between one another to help spread proper information about mental illness/disabilites. As well how to help treat it in natural ways with different healthier alternatives such as proper ways to work out and eating healthier. Because we are starting to focus on college studnets at DU, the needs of these students can be common across the country and world for mental health. Some other needs that revolve around mental health are how to acquire a job with out worries about ones mental illness/disability causing a hinderence during the hiring process. As well, how to balance ones own needs while working to make sure to properly handle the mental illness a person could be suffering from. The biggest need for college studnets dealing with mental health issues is how to balance their life between school, work and maintain a social presence. It can be difficult but not impossible. Based off of these needs for college students, we believe our solution will be able to help them and others out.
Stake Holder Interviews
Summary: There must be an open line of communication and awareness of the issue between both parties. If a person who has a mental illness/disability is applying for a job it is up to that persons discretion if they wish to disclose their disability/illness to the person doing the hiring. As a small restaurant consulting company, our employees must know how to talk to people and understand each other. This goes back to Mental Health and awareness amongst coworkers and how our employees interact with our patrons. There must be an understanding and communication from the start. That is the key. Hospitality has changed tenfold. There is no support in the industry which leads to high turnover. However, as more and more people become aware, there is opportunity for change. Which all goes back to communication.
Summary: All of the RA’s and staff go through a weeklong training session for mental health in its students. We also have multiple therapists available for the students to reach out to at any time. If they wish to see specific therapists, then they would have to schedule appointments in advance. There are spikes in depression and anxiety amongst students from the data we have gathered at the different schools among DU. This then allows us to work in training the professors to understand what to do when a students says they are too depressed or their anxiety is too big and not allowing them to do their work/attend classes.
Summary: DU offers multiple channels for its students to reach out to the HCC. We offer screenings at our events in the ACC and during the stress relief events. This allows us to better assist the students in the long run. As it stands the current freshman class will be receiving the letters, they wrote to them selves during O-Week, during the first week of Winter Quarter. We were just given a suicide prevention grant to establish more of a concern for prevention and education piece for mental illness. With more students exposed to the education of all forms of mental illness, this could prove beneficial to them.
Summary: The chancellors office is here to benefit all parties across the campus. We care about the student’s health and wellbeing as well as how hour faculty and staff can help the students. (There was no more information available as the vice chancellor requested that the conversation not be recorded.)
How might we be able to develop an understanding of mental illness and refine the information in a way that every person in the nation/world can understand?
How might our solution still evolve over the years to come?
How might we better tailor our solution to be more interactive with people?
How might we better understand mental health after our solution and help companies be more understanding about mental health in the work place?
Prototyping Before Stake holder Meetings
Our original proposed solution were mental health days to be instituted across DU as it would allow the professors and students to better understand mental health issues that students go through. Now we have refined it down to a mental health awareness day which will be campus wide and utalize ever department across DU and the various bodies across campus. This will be able to provide both students and faculty inforamtion and bring awareness to this issue to everyones attention in a fun and relaxing manner instead of in a lecture type of setting.
After having spoke with our stake holders we have continued to update this solution. The first solution would be this mental health day across DU. The second solution would be to have different events hosted in the AAC, Knoebel School of Hospitality and the Sturm College of Law across from the Driscoll Greens. These three buildings house some of the most accessible and readily available common spaces for students to have access too. They also provide enough space that should we desire to run different screening tests from the HCC we can have multiple testing sites for students to be properly evaluated and recieve proper treatment from the HCC therapy department. The third and final solution would be to extend the teaching time of Professors, RA's and Campus security as well as make it known on the beneficial implications that Marijuana has on anxiety and depression. Though the school is currently smoke free it could prove beneficial to allow for students to have medical cards and present them to Campus security should they need to search the students dormatory.
First solution: The variables we would be testing would be the impact on the depression and anxiety rate, which has gone up.
Second solution: The variable we would be testing would be the attendance rate and see how the students are doing after having been helped (after time has passed from the screening. Quarter to quarter) vs. how they were doing before the testing and help was initated.
Third solution: The variable we would be testing would be students attendence to class and how they are progressing in their classes. Looking at the different scores they recieve in the class from before they started using medical marijuana and after.
Final solution prototype
Ultimately, after having spoken with our stake holders, we have decided to go with the first solution of a mental health awareness day to be held in the winter quarter. We are looking to use the sturm auditorium, AAC first floor viewing area, as well as the Fritz Knoebel's first floor ball room should the weather be a hinderence for us. This solution proved to be the best and most affordable way for us to reach all the different students across campus and the various departments. It can also be updated as time goes on. But it will allow for the HCC and us to conduct multiple evaluations at differet locations while still reaching a large set of students who can receive the aid they require for a better life here at DU. If this solution has a good turn out and the results are prosperous then we can start to apply it to more campuses across colorado and eventually make it nation wide.
User Testing Feedback
After having proposed our solution to the stake holders, they have told us that the solution is sound but would like to connect it with how the freshman had to write notes to them selves and have our Mental Health Day coincide with it. As well they had told us that we should have it on a saturday. This was said because if we did hold it on a week day then it would disrupt classes, Professors would not be paid and we might not get enough student turn out. Overall the full solution did not have to be edited that much after having talked with our stake holders. We did tweak it to now work on a weekend and include more options for the students to do. As well, we have a plan in place should the weather turn bad for us to use three on campus buildings for the event.