Our aim for Bloombox is to help teams develop and strengthen their technologies for mental health and help rigorously design the scientific evaluation of their effectiveness. We want to build the Bloombox, so it suits the varied needs of all the teams. We want the tools to be relevant and to be useful, not just steps taken for rote purposes.
To achieve this goal, in partnership with the Templeton World Charity Foundation, we funded four (4) projects that align with our mission of developing and scientifically testing technologies that promote human flourishing. The projects that were selected are:
- The Adolescent Sleep Savoring Toolkit: a technology that provides support and skills to improve sleep for adolescents living in high-conflict areas.
- Digital Healing Library: an online community for people to connect and collaborate with each other to develop, refine, and support social healing*.*
- Everyone Gets It Here: a youth-centered, online community that provides support for social, emotional, spiritual, and mental wellbeing among grieving youth.
- The Interbeing Protocol: a protocol that delivers the benefits of traditional silent meditation while cultivating intimacy and strengthening bonds between humans.
To gain feedback about the Bloombox’s benefits, limitations, and opportunities for improvement we hosted a retreat to introduce and demonstrate the developed methodologies, tools, and practices. Our main objectives for the retreat were to:
- Learn about each of our projects and match feedback/support at the specific stage for each project to test Bloombox’s versatility.
- Focus on three specific Bloombox tools and practice their use in small groups.
- Discuss questions, concerns, and challenges across all disciplines involved with each project.
- Build a sense of shared purpose and launch a community of practice that lives on after the retreat.
It was a joy to meet with everyone in-person and spend time learning about each project, their journey, and the individuals dedicated to making each effort successful. We all left the retreat grateful and full of ideas on how to make/enhance our individual projects.
Specifically, for the GEMH Lab and Bloombox, we learned the following lessons that we plan to implement:
- We will work on accommodating teams of many different compositions and in many different project stages.
- We will work on facilitating understanding across diverse disciplines through clear and concrete terminology.
- We will work on balancing the effectiveness of human support with ensuring teams' self-sufficiency.
- We will work on creating more opportunities for networking and community building among the teams involved with Bloombox and the GEMH Lab.
- We will work on improving how the target audience is integrated into the tools and how the tools can be used to interact with audiences.