Advisor: Amy Csizmar Dalal
It’s no secret that awareness of and concern about mental health issues is at an all-time high, both nationally and locally. Nationally, 21.7% of adults age 18-25 have some sort of mental illness, and 54% of undergraduates surveyed report feeling "more than average" or "tremendous" stress over the last 12 months. A recent survey by Carleton’s Office of Health Promotion found that two of the top health concerns at Carleton are mental health and stress reduction.
In response, the Office of Health Promotion has increased its efforts and programming around general wellness, helping students make better choices around mindfulness and stress reduction. Last winter term’s Wellness Challenge is an example of this, as is the revised New Student Week programming around decision making and flourishing at Carleton. While these efforts have been successful, the office wants to reach and involve even more Carleton students, making it easier for them to find ways to flourish at Carleton. The office is also interested in getting feedback about its resources and programming: how many students who say they will participate in an event, actually participate? How useful is a particular resource? This Comps project addresses these issues.
The goal of this project is to develop an app that encourages and rewards Carleton students for adding wellness activities to their daily lives, to decrease stress and improve their mental health. The app should communicate information to students about wellness, including information about activities and resources available at Carleton, as well as track participation in these activities. The app will focus on the annual Wellness Challenge, but should also allow students to participate in improving wellness outside of this challenge. You will be working with Janet Muth, Director of Health Promotion at Carleton on this project.
The project will involve the following stages:
This is an academic civic engagement (ACE) Comps project. This means that Janet and the Office of Health Promotion are our clients for this project. In addition to all of the other goodness that you will gain by participating in CS Comps, you will also learn to (1) interact with a real-world client in a professional manner, (2) produce a product that will be used by real people in the real world, and (3) improve the lives of Carleton students.
Primary: An app that encourages and rewards Carleton students for adding more wellness activities to their lives.
Secondary: A presentation and release of your app to stakeholders, along with any associated documentation/training.
This project is well suited for students who want to utilize their computer science skills to benefit the Carleton community and who are interested in working closely with clients. I’d prefer to have at least one person on the team who’s taken Mobile App Development (or has equivalent experience) and/or at least one person who’s taken Human-Computer Interaction or Human-Centered Computing. A passion for living a healthy lifestyle is also a plus but is not required. Similarly, experience working on other ACE projects or with community groups is recommended, but not required.
One of your first tasks on this project will be to identify appropriate sources and resources to guide the design and development process. This literature review should touch on the following areas:
Some games and resources that inspired me when putting this project together:
The statistics in the background came from these sources: