You are not alone

You Are Not Alone is a campaign to encourage students reach out for help if they feel mentally unwell. This campaign is local to the University of Nevada, Reno during the spring of 2022.

The You Are Not Alone campaign was created by Yana Vincent as her senior thesis project.

“I have struggled with my own mental health for years, and for so long I felt as if I was the only one struggling. I wanted to let others know that they are not alone. I created an awareness campaign to encourage others to not be like me and solve their problems and not live with weekly mental breakdowns, constant anxiety, and looming stress. On top of my own problems, my brother was recently committed to a psychiatric watch center for suicidal thoughts. Thus, I figured maybe he will see he is not alone. Additionally, him being committed was scary to me and my family and it would be nice to prevent that same fear being placed on other families. This can be avoided if people seek help, or if they don’t seek professional help, at least they can try and help themselves.

From here my thesis idea was born. I wanted to promote that individuals struggling with their mental health don’t have to feel alone – because they are not. People tend to put their own needs last, and I want to create a campaign to help change that. However, I needed to decide on what scale I am creating my campaign. I chose to create my campaign specifically for University of Nevada, Reno students like myself and my brother. This is a feasible scale to implement and hopefully create a change in the mental wellbeing on UNR’s campus.

I broke down the goals of my campaign to giving free local or online resources, providing tips and tricks for improving mental health, sharing student stories, and ultimately steering students to seek help.

I researched mental health resources that are free to UNR students online and locally. Some of these resources include the UNR counseling center, the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) club, and Safe Talk for Teens. I also did a lot of research on different ways of coping with and improving ill mental health.

I reached out to various UNR students, asking if they would be willing to write a short, anonymous overview of their experience with mental health. While many declined, as it it is a very sensitive topic to reflect on personally, let alone share, I did get several volunteers. Their stories are on the website to help other students see that everyone struggling with mental health experiences a different journey, but having a different story doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter.

I designed a series of posters and postcards that will attract struggling students through the use of a series of artwork centered around causes for ill mental health. These pieces paired with a tagline will be a relating point to students, even to those who haven’t acknowledged that they are struggling yet.

I turned my campaign logo into a sticker so that students can place them where it will be a constant reminder that they are not alone. In addition to the cards, I created a series of square cards, each highlighting a different tip/trick for how to manage and improve mental health.

One way individuals cope with anxiety (and other mental afflictions) is by fidgeting. I designed a keychain of the logo that doubles as a fidget toy. This acts as a reminder that students are not alone every time they have an urge to fidget.

My thesis campaign You Are Not Alone will hopefully encourage students at UNR to get help and talk about what they are going through, if they are struggling with their mental health.”

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