Our project is based around mental health, so the team has decided to construct a video interviewing citizens of the Washington Park area asking them about their knowledge and experiences involving mental health. We’ll be partnering with teen mentors/administration from Chicago Youth Programs, Davonna Brown who is a social worker at the K.L.E.O Center, Veterans who take residence at the RTW Veteran Center, Devin Carey who is a therapist at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, etc. We chose to partner with the administration of these local facilities because we’ve spent most of our time working on health community issues with their organizations. We chose to develop a PSA to advocate awareness of mental health.
Like many pieces of work things change constantly, the central theme of what the PSA would cover was still under consideration. Since there are so many different mental illnesses to be covered we decided to focus on the most common illnesses that affects the south side communities. A big part of the project that changed was that the team decided not to focus too much on how nutrition affects mental health, but focus more on the role of violence in these communities, and how all these factors contribute to why mental health is a taboo subject.
In the Washington park community there is a negative stigma around mental illness. Many people associate mental illnesses with the image of an insane person in a straight jacket. This is why many people do not claim to be mentally ill because of how they will be perceived by others.The impact we expect our project to have is a change of stigma around the term mental illness.We want to help people understand that it is okay to be mentally ill and there are many resources available to help.We want to simply spark a conversation about the topic to address it as the issue it is, but to also discuss solutions.