Celia Cousineau is a graphic designer primarily interested in illustration and storytelling. She loves to explore how art and design can connect people emotionally and help us understand one another. She’s always felt ready to use art to share with the world everything she feels, and wants to use design to help others do the same.

For her capstone project, she’s interested in how people personally view the difference between emotions and disordered emotions, or mental illnesses. Transitioning to living on your own in adulthood—in college, or even after college, regulating emotions on top of the practicalities of living can be overwhelming. Many people are familiar with the feelings they struggle with, but hesitate to take them seriously or do not have access to professional help, or may still struggle despite available resources.

Tell Me How You Feel is an illustrated book for young adults that aims to help them identify, validate, and communicate feelings that might be related to mental illnesses. The book is broken into chapters focusing on a particular feeling; anxiety, a cycle of mania and depression, and general depression. Each story is structured similarly, guided by a set of questions examining how this feeling first manifested, why it might not have been validated, to a recent turning point, to what you’ve learned. The hope is that after reading these stories, readers can use these questions to tell their own story – by piecing together experience and memory, others can notice patterns, validate their behavior, and recognize their needs. Stories can be shared anonymously online so more stories can be available in the future. The goal is to develop a community-partnered project to help more people speak about their experiences with mental health.