The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on our mental health, and at East Lansing Public Schools, they are combating mental health issues with the help of The Cube, MSU’s publishing hub, which created the Trojan Mental Health Matters website to support the emotional well-being of East Lansing students.
“In the wake of the pandemic, a lot of people struggle with mental health concerns, and it isn’t always clear where to go for help,” said Kate Birdsall, Director of The Cube and Assistant Professor in MSU’s Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures. “We hope that this webssite addresses that.”
The Trojan Mental Health Matters site is a hub for students and teachers, providing mental health support on a local level by helping people identify potential mental health issues, locate available resources, find treatment, and more.
“From the custom illustrations to the very layout of the website (which buttons appear first, how the menu is structured), everything about the website is made in the hopes of providing support for fellow Trojans,” said Emily Lin, Experience Architecture major and The Cube’s lead UX Designer.
In the wake of the pandemic, a lot of people struggle with mental health concerns, and it isn’t always clear where to go for help. We hope that this website addresses that.Kate Birdsall, Assistant Professor and Director of The Cube
The website also addresses the school’s inclusivity by offering specific resources for LGBTQIA+, Black, Indigenous, and students of color.
The website began in Birdsall’s Writing for Nonprofits (WRA 331) course as the final project in the class for the fall 2020 semester. The project later evolved as the East Lansing Public Schools Mental Health Advisory Committee (MHAC) saw the end result and its potential.
From here, it was passed from the WRA 331 cohort to The Cube for full web development, where Birdsall and her team worked with the MHAC to support the East Lansing Public Schools need for mental health resources.
This small team that developed the site was made up entirely of MSU students, including Lin, Project Manager Mitch Carr (Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing master’s student), Web Designer Ethan Kolderman (Experience Architecture major), and Content Creator Kaylee Mullen (Animal Sciences major).
“The team for this project was completely dedicated to making it a success,” Birdsall said, “and they worked with East Lansing Public Schools and with me to ensure that it would be. Major kudos to the whole team.”
Between her WRA 331 course and her position at The Cube, Birdsall has been leading the Trojan Mental Health Matters project since its beginning. “I’ve already gotten emails from community members who are offering their thanks,” she said.
For more information, visit the Trojan Mental Health Matters website.
Written by Alec Parr