Sometimes, the toughest thing to do is to start. Just start. It's always, arguably, the most courageous step out of all the steps to take because… what if? When it comes to the topic of mental health, that “what if” can be a loaded over-analysis. “What if people don't understand me?” or “What if I can't articulate myself well and my mental illness ends up repelling people rather than drawing support?” It's an understandable thought process and, when it comes to the topic of mental health, simply starting the conversation can be heavy to bear, especially when the world is intolerant of differences. The first step, however is "mindnosis," (I know, I know, what is mindnosis?!) something graduate designer Sara Lopez Ibanez designed with special attention put toward not only changing the mental health conversation, but starting the conversation.
Mindnosis is a mental health tool kit that helps you to grab a handle of what you are enduring while in the "transition period" of getting treatment based on your needs. It is equipped with everything you need to break down the intimidating walls of actually articulating your complex, and often times layered emotions throughout the limbo period.
Here is what it entails:
In the box, METRO reports, are a number of steps to help anyone struggling to better understand what's going on in their mind.
The first part is called Discover, which comes equipped with six different colored triangles, each representing a different area that could be affecting mental wellbeing. You open the box, choose from the triangles that align most accurately with your experience, and stick them in what is another section and second step of the kit: the Record journal.
In the Record journal, you record your thoughts and reflections. This journal is equipped with pages designed to 'offer a starting point of conversation" with visual maps to help you chart your emotions and thoughts, METRO reports.
Following the Record journal is the third step of the kit, the Try Out section. It has a set of eight activity cards that combine mindfulness, CBT, and other tips to help elicit calm if ever you're in panic.
After Try Out, is the fourth step of the kit: Learn. Learn is like a physical Instagram quotes page, filled with inspirational quotes that pushes for self exploration and discussion.
Once you've gone through the quotes, the kit promotes social support. It invites you to meet a peer to talk through what you've learned and create an action plan. The action plan involves anything that'll best suit you, whether it be therapy, medication, or home remedies.
In the following Help section, the last section, the kit provides you with access to helplines and professional services.
Ibanez created this genius tool kit because she was tired of having to sort through the inability to express her true feelings with medical doctors, and the questionnaires that they provided just wasn't enough to cut it.
“I was scared, for not being able to make sense of what I was feeling. I had to fill questionnaires that did not give me any insight on why I was feeling that way,” Ibanez said.
What makes Mindnosis so special is that it helps you to piece through complicated feelings and symptoms, without being laden with unnecessary medical jargon.
It's to accurately and thoroughly piece through feelings in a way that is more individualistic, less intimidating, and more comforting than the medical system can provide.
“I wanted to give first-time users a simple and unintimidating self-assessment system, helping them to avoid the pain and friction points that come with seeking mental health advice and treatment through traditional channels,” Ibanez told METRO.
If you are someone who simply needs a moment to understand your illness, don't want to deal with doctors at the moment but needs, more than anything, to get through this trying time, Mindnosis was made specifically for you.
Mental illness can be painful, but understanding yourself through it doesn't have to be.