Unmasking mental health during the pandemic

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As we entered the pandemic, it was not only COVID-19 that was on the rise. Adolescent mental health has been left unaddressed for years. This article uses Tableau data visualizations to take a closer look at national depression and anxiety statistics over time compared to my school county’s depression-related funding.

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The Why

Adolescent mental health is often overlooked. Attending a STEM school with an immense amount of pressure, it quickly became clear to me how vital it is to address this fact. I specifically decided to make this a data-centered article to hold my county accountable for their response to trends in adolescent mental health.

The Process

  1. To explore data journalism, I learned how to use the powerful interactive data visualization software Tableau. This is the first article I constructed using this software.
  2. I spent one month garnering this data from the U.S. Census Bureau and SocialPro, as well as my school county’s budget documents to localize the story. The lacking national adolsecent-specific mental health data available further perpetuates the notion that adolescent mental health is often overlooked.
  3. I conducted a twelve minute interview with our school’s social worker, Ms. Danielle Armstrong, to learn more about what our school is doing to continue to address mental health during the pandemic.
  4. Throughout the article I link my resources to provide evidence and maintain journalistic integrity, as well as to invite the readers to explore more of any of the topics I briefly mention.
  5. I drew the featured image of a face with worried eyes and a mask using Faber-Castell pens, and added a piece of research using Adobe Photoshop.

Click here view the spreadsheet of data.

Stuti Gupta · Interview with Social Worker Danielle Armstrong

The Impact

Through this article, I was able to spur conversation regarding approaches that our school is personally taking to respond to the mental health of our students, and how they can better support us as students in the future. I also succesfully learned how to use the data visualization software Tableau, which I have since used for many of my other articles.