COVID-19 has played a role in the lives of everyone in this country, whether it be directly or indirectly. For, Idaho State University freshman Emma Watts, the time during the pandemic gave her the opportunity to give back to the community by co-authoring a book.

The book, entitled, “Mind Matters,” is a free, online guidebook made up of testimonials from both students and teachers. The book is divided up into three sections with an array of different perspectives, featuring a student support section, a teacher support section and a section for the BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color).

Watts wrote the book along with fellow Princeton students Preeti Chemiti and Eric Lin. Watts took the responsibility of outreach coordinator for “Mind Matters,” in which she compiled over 150 student testimonials from all 50 states.

They were able to pay for the project using a $1,500 for the project through a Princeton fellowship program.

“We wanted it to be free because we wanted to reach as many standards or academic professionals, or mental health providers, as possible,” Watts said.

For Watts and her two colleagues, what they really want students and teachers to take away from this is that no one is alone in what they are dealing with, and that the testimonials from people of all backgrounds can be a reference to them.

“Mental health effect everyone, ” Watts said. “Whether you’re a certain race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, mental health does affect you, and everyone does face some anxiety or depression in one way or another. So, I think this is a very comprehensive guidebook for everyone to use, especially during this pandemic.”

“Mind Matters” was launched on Aug. 4 and has already seen more than 2,000 downloads.

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