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Vanessa Cano Film 20c Project Proposal University of California, Santa Cruz

The following proposal is for a website that aims to help society better their relationship to their mind. Today, medical attention is primarily focused on the body but the importance of maintaining mental health is a concept that hardly gets attention even in the 21st century. In a society where the pressures of daily living can deteriorate the physical state it is not often we wonder why we are discontent with our lives. Over the years of growing up in the digital age, where the answers to nearly everything is available online, I have rarely came across sites that provide substantial information regarding the well-being of the psyche. I would have been prepared to help my mother during her panic attack episodes if there was a specific site to aid people of all ages in the case of panic or anxiety attacks. The topic of mental health unfortunately is sometimes regarded as a taboo topic because many people do not want to openly discuss the possibility that not only may their body need tending to but their mind as well. I would have felt less alone trying to understand my uncle’s schizophrenia if there was a forum available for people to discuss their issues related to mental health. It is difficult to find the time to be aware of one’s thoughts and understand what our subconscious thoughts could reveal and how that affects our attitude towards life. I want to provide that help with where users of all ages can find information on mental disorders, how to articles, surviving trauma, advice, videos and a conversation forum. I want this to be a website where people can be left feeling empowered. Where they have a sense of control in their lives because of the resources available to them through  

This image is the wireframe for It is the homepage where users can navigate through the most recent articles published for the site through clicking the left and right arrows as shown in the image with the article title above. There are five drop down menus to assist the user through navigating through the website as well. The menus drop down to display different categories. For example, the “videos” link would display several categories such as; stress techniques, survivors, brain facts, meditation, and advice. In the upper right hand corner there is a community discussion form signup or log in links to allow users to interact with one another through forms targeted to specific age groups or mental health discussion. Bellow that is a search navigation tool provided to help users search the website. The top of the website page shows three links titled “welcome”, “our mission”, and “contact”. The “welcome” link is the homepage, the “our mission” link would provide a description of the website’s staff’s goal to aid in mental health, and the “contact” link would provide contact information so that users could leave comments or contribute ideas/knowledge to On the right side of the website there will be featured a different inspiring quote or video every week (stemmed from outside sources).

This page is an example of an article that would be published on the It would fall under the “How To” category. In this case, the article is “How To Talk To Someone With Depression” from “advice given by those who have struggled with or are still struggling with depression, which means that the website would have actual advice from those who’ve had first hand experiences with depression rather than from clinical psychologists who merely retrieve their data from studies. The contribute button allows users to contact to add their own input as well. The bottom of the page are buttons that link back to the homepage, favoring the article, receiving feed, or sharing the article through several options.

PRODUCTION PLAN The website will require a website development team to create the product. The estimated cost for the domain name of “brainaid� will cost $25 a year. Hosting will cost an estimate of $60-$100 a year depending on the host service. The development for the web design to achieve a minimalist linear look will cost an estimate of $1,200-3,500. Maintaining and redesigning the site will cost an estimate of $500 a year. Website graphics and images, such as Getty Images, costs an estimate of $100 or more. To ensure that content from will be available through search engines such, Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, the management of SEO will be an estimate of $500-$2000. Advertisement to be featured on sites such as and to appear on Facebook ads will allow for to reach users. COSTED ESTIMATE: $6,000+

The objective of is to empower the individual with resources to better their relationship with their mind. Mental health in the United States is a drastic issue that is not primarily addressed. More than just half (58%) of the adults in the United States with a serious mental illness received treatment for a mental health problem and approximately half (50.6%) of children with mental disorders received treatment in the last year 1. This shows how poorly prioritized mental health still appears to be in today’s society. In this growing technological age people have access to the vast amount of information that is available on the World Wide Web so shouldn’t that be enough to assist us through life? With information targeted towards improving mental health will shape the primary focus of the website. The website’s content will contain information on mental disorders, treatments available, organizations and hotlines available to user specific regions and need, quizzes to comprehend symptoms, articles on how to address specific mental illnesses, videos on mental health techniques, such as relaxing the mind, and advice from everyday people who offer wisdom from their experiences. will also feature a forum in which users can participate in and interact with other users through creating an account. The forum would be a safe community where users can confide in others about issues pertaining to the wellbeing of their mental state. There would be categories where users can identify the category in which their public message would be placed. Such categories include mental illness, psyche, and other. The forum will display the most recently posted messages in the separate categories and clicking on the title will display the users’ responses to them. Using the forum strictly for the benefit of the user’s well-being will be enforced by Brain Aid’s staff. Allowing users to relate to one another and create an atmosphere of a positive, interactive community could improve the user’s mental health significantly. This acts as an opportunity for to operate similar to a social network site because users can provide optional additional information about themselves to allow for users to maintain contact, which could deem similar to a social media network because “social network sites allow publics to gather” (Why Youth Heart Social Network Sites, Danah Boyd). In “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life” by Danah Boyd, Boyd explains the contrast between public and private networks; the former allows people from the public to gather and interact with one another while the latter can’t and won’t perform such tasks. acts as a public network because according to Boyd, “Networked publics are one type of mediated public; the network mediates the interactions between members of the public.” Because encourages users to submit relevant material pertaining to helping and healing mentality and contribute through written work, links, videos, and suggestions, users gather as a participatory culture. In “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture:                                                                                                               1  SAMA’S  National  Survey  On  Drug  Use  and  Health  (NSDUH)  and  National  Health   and  Nutrition  Examination  Survey  (NHANES)    

Media Education for the 21st Century”, in summary Henry Jenkins defines participatory culture as; 1) With strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations with others 2) With some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices 3) Where members believe that their contributions matter 4) Where members feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created). users would not be required to have an account to contribute submissions (the account would only be necessary to access the public forum) upholds the belief that, “Not every member must contribute but all must believe they are free to contribute when ready and what they contribute will be appropriately valued.” (Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture, Jenkins). The contributions from users will allow for the community to grow and extend networking of by being shared by others in order for the website to become well known successful. The goal is for, “the community itself [to provide] strong incentives for creative expression and active participation”. The success of would be to have created a collaborative community of people who have experienced struggles with mental health and those willing to seek improvement of their mental health and of others so that society lends itself compassion and self-healing as a whole.


Project Proposal  
Project Proposal