What was the name and purpose of your Gold Award project?
The name of my project is “Not All In My Head,” and its purpose is to spread awareness on the importance of mental health through my blog notallinmyhead.com, which features positive coping mechanisms and personal experiences geared towards teens for managing anxiety and depression. In addition to posting content to my blog, I spoke on a mental health panel at Messiah University, as well as to several youth groups, about mental health awareness and the importance of reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness.
What sustainable impact did your Gold Award project have on the community?
The sustainable impact of my project is that my website will be available to teens seeking resources on mental illness, as well as professionals and educators who may be interested in sharing a more personal perspective on managing your mental health. The beauty of having a project that is primarily based on the internet is that my posts will stay on the internet forever, so it will continue to be accessible even if I chose to post less.
What insights/takeaway did you gain from your project?
Some insights I gained from completing my project is that so many people can benefit from having an open dialogue about mental illness, even those who aren’t living with it. Through my blog, I was able to connect with people who didn’t have anyone to talk to about their mental health, and it was very rewarding to hear the positive impact my project had. Overall, I was able to emphasize the importance of being open about mental health and help start conversations with people in my community who were unaware of the stigma surrounding mental illness.
What Is your favorite memory of completing your Gold Award project?
My favorite part of completing my project was speaking on the mental health panel at Messiah University.
This was something that I’d normally be too scared to do, but by pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I learned a lot about myself and the other speakers and was able to help other people who deal with mental illness on a day to day basis. It was a valuable experience that I’m so grateful to have had because of my Gold Award.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I’d like to thank everyone who assisted me with my project, as well as my parents and sisters (one of whom also received her Gold Award this year!).