As children, we are asked to choose a career path that is our own and that will bring us happiness. For me, it was always medicine. I had always dreamed of being a doctor and helping kids get better. However, with the arrival of the pandemic, I was thrown into a spiral of anxiety regarding my future. Yes, I still wanted to be a doctor, but for me, it seemed too far in the future. I didn’t want to wait 8 years to make a difference in people’s lives. I had so many crazy ideas throbbing in my mind of things I could do, but I felt the need to repress them. After all, nothing could come out of doing many different things. At least that’s what I had been taught my whole life.
Further in the pandemic though, I started doubting myself. I would tell myself that I wanted to be different and maybe this was my chance. And it was. I finally decided to listen to my internal voice and started 20today20tomorrow, a creative hub for youth by youth who want to use their crazy ideas to change the environment they live in. With this, we could change all the negativity into something positive and productive. We could merge all kinds of subjects and come up with wild ideas that could not only inspire others but inspire us. This was the start of something that I could use to make a difference now and not have to wait.
So, the idea wheel started rolling, and being passionate about mental health and technology, 20today20tomorrow created HealMind. The face of this initiative is a character called HealMind – hence the name of the initiative – and this character promotes/represents the importance of taking care of your mental health as you would with your physical health. The HealMind character is also featured in all the projects done underneath the HealMind initiative.
One of the main projects within this initiative is the sticker project, my personal favorite. These stickers feature the HealMind character on them and they are infused with NFC (Near-Field Communication) technology. With this technology, a person can simply tap the sticker with their smartphone to go to a web page with listed mental health resources that coincide with their geographical location. The stickers are placed in areas that youth frequently visit, such as bus stops, schools, bathrooms, etc. (Cool, right?)
As tap technology is something very familiar to today’s youth, I believe the sticker project will continue to be successful and is an essential project underneath the mental health initiative. The organization’s goal with this project is to make it easier for youth to access and be made aware of mental health resources close to them. Through this project, the hope is also to fulfill the mental health initiatives objectives: encouraging the normalization of the conversation around mental health, further educating youth on how to take care of their mental well-being, and teaching youth how to cope with mental health problems healthily.
A post by Drayton Mulindabigwi Jabo, founder of 20today20tomorrow