The #KIND2MIND Project, as well as the esSCENTial melts products, are the brand and efforts designed to increase awareness around issues of mental health while raising money to donate to organization prioritizing issues of mental health.
"This was truly an unforgettable journey filled with many ups and downs however in the end we persevered and had a significant impact in our community."
- Student Reflection
Surveying and Interviewing Peers
During the FEEL stage, students created an anonymous survey for their school community. Based on the results, students were compelled to research mental health in youth and its impact as well as ways that others are addressing issues of mental health. Students then began conducting additional surveys and interviews to better understand the challenges that students faced in their school community. Students reflected, “We never knew people really felt this way. After seeing how people felt we had to do something.” Then students shifted their research on ways in which students address feelings of depression, loneliness and anxiety and then conducted additional interviews. They analyzed the responses and used this information to move forward.
Brainstorming and Researching to Promote Awareness and Support
Students noted, "During the IMAGINE stage we had so many ideas we didn't know where to start." As a result, students began to brainstorm and research a wide variety of ideas such as yoga, meditation, education around coping mechanisms, etc. As they continued in the research, they focused on the local challenge, their passion, the feasibility and the impact of particular solutions. They rooted their work in their belief that being kind to oneself by taking care of one’s own mental health is important. This led them to consider ways to create therapeutic products while raising awareness around issues of mental health. After researching and ideating and discussing, students developed their campaign aligned to these efforts - called #Kind2Mind.
Based on Data, Developing and Distributing Products and Educational Materials
During the DO stage, students collected data from their interviews and surveys and research, connected with students changemakers from a school across the country, developed an action plan and split into teams to begin their work. They worked creating, branding, advertising and packaging their calming product - esSCENTial melts. To create the calming wax melts, students collected donations of old crayons, researched and tested scents that are most relaxing, and created a recipe and methodology. To increase awareness students created educational brochures and materials, created a Twitter and Instagram account, developed a website, and shared their product with their school team collaborators from across the country. They collected feedback on their work and, as a result, decided to expand their products. They prototyped 15 versions of scented eye pillows and collaborated with yoga studios to increase awareness around issues of youth mental health.
Using a Platform to Increase Awareness
Students identified the great importance of the SHARE stage as an opportunity to shine a light on issues of youth mental health. They have shared at a number of events by presenting and setting up booths, distributing fliers and connecting with organizations doing similar work. They have raised thousands of dollars for NAMI (National Awareness of Mental Health Institute) through the sale of their melts. They were also selected as the national winner of a leadership competition which allowed them to further donate $10,000 to an organization of their choosing. They selected Born This Way Foundation. They have shared with leaders in their school district as well as the Department of Education and presented at an event in NYC to discuss their work. Further, they were invited to WE Day and hope to share with an audience of 15,000+.