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Bridging the gap between fear and getting help with thinkFull

Group projects don’t have the best reputation out there (here’s to looking at you, high school). At its worst, one person is always left doing the work, while the rest of the group shares the credit. At its best: different group members take on separate responsibilities, collaboration happens, and then we all leave inspired. Luckily, mindyourmind isn’t high school (thankfully). In fact, this organization has been thriving off of fantastic teamwork since 2004! My past experience with mindyourmind has always left me inspired whenever I would leave their office, which is why I keep coming back to them. So when the opportunity to participate in an app project came along, I just had to say yes.

Over the span of two days, a group of youth and young adults, ranging from high schoolers to full-time workers, gathered together at the mindyourmind office to start working on an app, in partnership with Telus. We tested a draft version of what was back then a nameless app, and sorted out what we thought was difficult to navigate, as well as added recommendations for incorporating new features. Not only will there be an option for a mood tracker and journal for users to get in touch with their introspective side, but there will be an option of activities and tips to encourage them to do things as well. As for the design of the app, the first aspect of the draft that left us in awe was the bubble design—if a prospective user needed any convincing as to why this app will help calm them and motivate them, a simple and soothing design should do it. From there, we used the idea of “tranquility” as an inspiration for what a possible colour palette would be, and we picked out a design for the website that would inform people about the app. Just like the title being the hardest part of a written piece, we stumbled at naming the Telus app. While we had tried to shorten down the list of names, it ended up getting bigger, so we decided to send out a few options that we were tied on to the Telus team. At the end, they liked our suggestion of “thinkFull”, and we did too!

During the break of one of our meetings, I was able to have a chat with Kit Navarro, the Telus representative that came over to the office to guide us. Over pizza, I had mentioned to her how the act of getting help is one of the most difficult steps in managing your mood, due to the stigma, and situational and cultural differences, that one might face. Being a university student, I can say that a stressful environment like that of a campus can foster a lot of silence and complacency towards those who struggle. It’s so easy to ignore a problem until it becomes serious, but those are unhealthy coping mechanisms that we need to let go of. Navarro said that one of the main reasons why her team had come up with the idea of creating an app for wellness is that they wanted to bridge the gap between fear and getting help. Some people aren’t ready to get help, or perhaps don’t need the kind of help that others do, yet focusing on one’s mental health and wellbeing shouldn’t have to wait until they get to that position. What I hope that this app will bring to a future user is the comfort and validation that whatever they are feeling and going through is real. No matter what situation that person is in, their wellbeing matters—mental health included.

As per usual, after those two days spent with the group, I left the mindyourmind office feeling inspired.

Stay tuned for more information on the release of the new thinkFull app, created in collaboration with Telus!