By educating on mental health, the role of the supporter, and intervention techniques, StandBy breaks down stigma by creating a place for community interaction and storytelling.
StandBy, an online informational database and platform, empowers peer support networks. By educating on mental health, the role of the supporter, and intervention techniques, StandBy breaks down stigma by creating a place for community interaction and storytelling. It creates a place for both sufferers and caretakers to come together as they anonymously connect with students going through the same challenges. The educational information has a focus directed at “supporting the supporters,” in turn, helping students personally dealing with mental illness. This resource is a way our community can become better educated and united around a never-ceasing issue—a way to overcome isolation, misinformation, and lack of education.
The University of Notre Dame awarded this project the Emil Jacques Gold Medal of Fine Arts—the oldest and most prestigious award given by the department, on the criteria of artistic excellence and making a positive contribution to the spirit of community within the department. This award recognized "StandBy," as a testament to hard work, dedication, and intellectual investigation.
Accessible anytime, anywhere.
The decision to make a website was based not only on convenience, but on the large role of anonymity when it comes to seeking mental health resources. Studies show the number one reason students use the Internet as a mental health resource is because of anonymity.
Additionally, equipped with both a web and mobile platform, StandBy caters to students who need information immediately to deal with a situation.
Standby becomes convenient, reliable, and comfortable to use.
Finding a Style
Designing for collegiate mental health was a challenge. It's difficult to design something that is youthful (but not too youthful), while also having a balance of information and simplicity.
Apart from typography and color, creating imagery that is appropriate for such a serious topic is equally hard. When choosing imagery centered around mental health, one must be careful not to reinforce incorrect stereotypes or images of mental health issues. I chose a one-line illustrative style that helped abstract topics, persons or ideas while still being conceptually understood. An example of this style can be seen in these images that served as the banner for the website.
The final piece of this project in an installation. The details of my designs and project were framed on either side by some of the anonymous stories that I collected throughout my project. These stories draw viewers in and humanize the issue. It brings a personalization to the statistics, however heartbreaking, but forces the viewer to understand the seriousness of the issue in the Notre Dame community—hearing directly from students.