By Taylor Burnham
Mental health and wellbeing are essential for college students; living in a healthy
headspace allows us to work effectively and properly balance our multiple responsibilities. One
common outlet used to monitor and assess one’s mental health is wellness journaling. Journaling
utilizes writing and creativity to document our thoughts and emotions, enabling us to become
more self-aware and learn the inner workings of the mind. But many people are not sure how to
get started. Through BLI’s leadership lab course (ALA 174), our team sought to address this
issue and make journaling a more accessible activity for college students.
For our project, our team envisioned handing out free wellness notebooks to University
of Michigan students, including a constructive guide on how to journal to support mental health.
This pamphlet would include information on the benefits of journaling, advice for getting started,
and a variety of written and art-related prompts. As part of the class, we interviewed with
multiple stakeholders that gave us advice on how to pursue our project, such as Wolverine
Wellness and actual students, and we learned to productively work as a team in finalizing the
details of our plan. We were unable to execute our initial plan by the end of the class due to time
conflicts, modifying the physical journals aspect to an online journal, but a few members of our
team were still inspired to pursue the original project during the Winter 2023 semester.
These students, including myself, received funding from BLI to purchase around 200
wellness journals to offer to students. On February 7th, 2023, we reserved a table in Mason Hall
and successfully handed out all of our journals, complete with a printed journaling guide.
Developing and executing this project was extremely rewarding, and we are pleased with what
we have accomplished. With the support of our class and the initiative we took to finish the
project beyond that time, our team certainly grew as leaders and as people wanting to make a difference.
We are grateful for BLI’s support of our vision, and we look forward to continuing
our involvement with the organization.