Fierce

Andrea Campos Is Normalizing Emotions And Mental Health Through Her App Yana

When Andrea Campos was eight years old, she began to express symptoms of depression. She began attending therapy sessions and reading self-help books to cope, but it wasn’t enough.

A self-taught coder, Campos began to develop a passion project that combined her two interests: mental health and programming. The result was Yana, a wellness app designed specifically to tackle negative thoughts linked to anxiety and depression.

Initially meant for personal use, Campos decided to make Yana accessible to anyone who could not access a specialist during the pandemic.

Photo courtesy of Apple

While Yana is not designed to substitute psychiatric treatment, Campos told mitú that the app functions like “an emotional diary.”

Users can engage with daily check-ins, specialized paths for self-esteem boosting, and a mental monitoring test that checks for symptoms of anxiety and depression every 14 days. In case of an emergency, Yana has resources to connect you to a mental health professional.

Structured to “explain how the mind works” using a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) framework, Yana seeks to make users aware of the normalcy behind every emotion thought.

“As long as you are aware that you have automatic thoughts all day every day, even if you do not realize it and that it impacts your emotions, it will be easier for you to manage your mental health,” she said.

While Campos hopes users gain comfort in recognizing and validating their emotional state, the stigma around mental health remains prevalent.

“When you approach people and ask questions about how they handle mental health or if they have problems with mental health, they tell you, ‘No! I’m perfect, I don’t have any of that,'” she explained.

When creating Yana, Campos learned that she needed to deviate from using the phrase “mental health” to attract users.

Photo courtesy of Apple

“Many times depression or anxiety is a cluster of managed emotions,” Campos explained. “So when [people] think of the word ‘Mental Health’ they automatically associate it with a disorder. They do not associate it with something that is handled every day.”

“The same way people understand the importance of exercising to prevent diseases or eating well, it’s important to have practices such as gratitude, awareness, and meditation that can also prevent diseases in the mind,” she said.

Avoiding the word association of “disorders, depression, or post-traumatic stress,” Campos focused on everyday issues such as insomnia, frustration, or even grief to identify problems at the source.

The lack of immediate treatment can be harmful. Prior to the pandemic, four-in-five people facing mental health concerns struggled to receive treatment in Mexico.

“In Latin America, we do not have the culture of prevention, we usually approach a doctor or a psychologist when we are already on the brink of catastrophe,” she said.

Education on mental health is the primary goal Campos hopes to tackle with Yana.

Photo courtesy of Apple

“When we are in kindergarten they teach us the alphabet, colors, but they don’t teach us the emotions,” she said.

While we are taught the basic emotions: happy, sad, angry, excited, Campos expressed the importance of teaching children how to understand their feelings instead of repressing them.

“My dream is to have a physical Yana robot in kindergarten classrooms where children who are punished, for example, can vent their emotions and can explain themselves instead of having to face the wall,” she said.

Yana, while focusing on the individual, is just the first step for Campos. Campos also wants to develop an app for one’s inner circle. Eventually, she hopes to expand the app to help children.

“The reality is that when we are sad we want to connect with our loved ones, not with strangers. We want to know that our parents, our friends, our partner love and value ​​us, in good times and in bad,” she said.

To bring people closer to their network instead of a stranger, Campos hopes to create a conjoined app for Yana to accompany one’s inner circle in educating how to support that person.

The App Store featured Yana for Women’s History Month. You can download the app from the App Store here.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, text NAMI at 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor or visit info@nami.org. In case of an emergency please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Read: Women Open Up About Crying In The Workplace 

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Mexican Politician Accused Of Rape Vows To Block Elections Unless He’s Allowed To Run

Things That Matter

Mexican Politician Accused Of Rape Vows To Block Elections Unless He’s Allowed To Run

FRANCISCO ROBLES/AFP via Getty Images

It’s an election year in Mexico and that means that things are heating up as candidates fight for the top spot. At the same time, Mexico is experiencing a burgeoning fight for women’s rights that demands accountability and justice. Despite all the marches and protests and civil disobedience by hundreds of thousands of Mexicans, it remains to be seen how much change will happen and when. 

Case in point: Félix Salgado, a candidate for governor of Guerrero who has been accused of rape and sexual assault but maintains the support of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). Now, after being disqualified from the race because of undisclosed campaign finances, the candidate is vowing to block any elections from taking place unless he is allowed to continue his campaign. 

A disqualified candidate is vowing to block elections unless he’s allowed to run.

Félix Salgado was running to be governor of the Mexican state of Guerrero when he was faced with allegations of rape and sexual assault. The commission that selects party candidates allowed him to remain in the race and he continues to maintain the support of President AMLO – who is of the same political party, Morena. 

However, in late March, election regulators ordered that Salgado be taken off the ballot due to a failure to report campaign spending, according to the AP. Mexico’s electoral court ordered the Federal Electoral Institute (FEI) to reconsider their decision last week. Salgado is already threatening to throw the election process into chaos.

“If we are on the ballot, there will be elections,” Salgado told supporters in Guerrero after leading a caravan of protestors to the FEI’s office in Mexico City on Sunday. “If we are not on the ballot, there will not be any elections,” Salgado said.

The AP notes that Salgado is not making an empty threat. Guerrero is an embattled state overrun with violence and drug gangs and many elections have been previously disrupted. Past governors have been forced out of office before finishing their terms. Salgado was previously filmed getting into a confrontation with police in 2000.

It was just weeks ago that the ruling party allowed Salgado’s candidacy to move forward.

In mid-March, Morena confirmed that Félix Salgado would be its candidate for governor in Guerrero after completing a new selection process in which the former senator was reportedly pitted against four women.

Morena polled citizens in Guerrero last weekend to determine levels of support for five different possible candidates, according to media reports. Among the four women who were included in the process were Acapulco Mayor Adela Román and Senator Nestora Salgado.

Félix Salgado was the clear winner of the survey, even coming out on top when those polled were asked to opine on the potential candidates’ respect for the rights of women. He also prevailed in all other categories including honesty and knowledge of the municipality in which the poll respondents lived.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

Things That Matter

Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

Mexico City is the oldest surviving capital city in all of the Americas. It also is one of only two that actually served as capitals of their Indigenous communities – the other being Quito, Ecuador. But much of that incredible history is washed over in history books, tourism advertisements, and the everyday hustle and bustle of a city of 21 million people.

Recently, city residents voted on a non-binding resolution that could see the city’s name changed back to it’s pre-Hispanic origin to help shine a light on its rich Indigenous history.

Mexico City could soon be renamed in honor of its pre-Hispanic identity.

A recent poll shows that 54% of chilangos (as residents of Mexico City are called) are in favor of changing the city’s official name from Ciudad de México to México-Tenochtitlán. In contrast, 42% of respondents said they didn’t support a name change while 4% said they they didn’t know.

Conducted earlier this month as Mexico City gears up to mark the 500th anniversary of the fall of the Aztec empire capital with a series of cultural events, the poll also asked respondents if they identified more as Mexicas, as Aztec people were also known, Spanish or mestizo (mixed indigenous and Spanish blood).

Mestizo was the most popular response, with 55% of respondents saying they identified as such while 37% saw themselves more as Mexicas. Only 4% identified as Spaniards and the same percentage said they didn’t know with whom they identified most.

The poll also touched on the city’s history.

The ancient city of Tenochtitlán.

The same poll also asked people if they thought that the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlán by Spanish conquistadoresshould be commemorated or forgotten, 80% chose the former option while just 16% opted for the latter.

Three-quarters of respondents said they preferred areas of the the capital where colonial-era architecture predominates, such as the historic center, while 24% said that they favored zones with modern architecture.

There are also numerous examples of pre-Hispanic architecture in Mexico City including the Templo Mayor, Tlatelolco and Cuicuilco archaeological sites.

Tenochtitlán was one of the world’s most advanced cities when the Spanish arrived.

Tenochtitlán, which means “place where prickly pears abound” in Náhuatl, was founded by the Mexica people in 1325 on an island located on Lake Texcoco. The legend goes that they decided to build a city on the island because they saw the omen they were seeking: an eagle devouring a snake while perched on a nopal.

At its peak, it was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. It subsequently became a cabecera of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Today, the ruins of Tenochtitlán are in the historic center of the Mexican capital. The World Heritage Site of Xochimilco contains what remains of the geography (water, boats, floating gardens) of the Mexica capital.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com