For as long as I can remember I have lived and sometimes struggled with mental illness. As I prepared to enter college, I had anxieties most kids don’t have to think about. Am I going to be able to wake up? Where do I find a therapist with no car? Where do I fill my prescriptions? What if my roommates steal my medicine? How do I get accommodations? How am I going to keep up my wellness so far from my support system, where I don’t know anyone? Luckily, I was very close with my high school’s resource officer who wrote me “Kaity’s guide to being a human,” which was a journal full of reminders on how to keep my head up and succeed on my own. However, I still struggled for my first three years of college. I couldn’t find a therapist, the wellness center said they couldn’t help me, and I was afraid to take my medicine because of a bad roommate experience. Eventually, during my junior year I was finally able to get the support and help I needed to succeed. Through my experience of deeply struggling to adjust to college I realized there is an easier way.
The mission and focus of MiMi is to help smooth the transition into college for students who have diagnosed mental illnesses so they don’t have to struggle as long as I did. The Mental Illness Maintenance Initiative, or MiMi, is a system to help college-aged students manage and maintain healthy life habits that are essential for mental health such as: eating, exercising, sleeping the right amount, and setting a range of goals. In my five years of being a college student, I have witnessed and experienced how difficult it can be to stay on top of smaller habits when the stress of deadlines is met within an atmosphere of constant change and competition. I have also noticed that when these small habits fall by the wayside, the negative impact is huge. I developed a three part system to help college students prevent digging themselves into a hole. The system consists of an app, website, and guided journal. Each provides support in different but very helpful ways.