if-me.org | Mental health communication app

MentorJulia Nguyen (julianguyen)
Project Websitehttps://www.if-me.org
Project Repositoryhttps://github.com/ifmeorg/ifme
Suitable for Beginners?yes
TagsRuby on Rails React Postgres HTML SCSS CSS Flow Storybook Rspec Capybara Jest Enzyme Webpack Accessibility Security Performance Full-stack Development Mental Health Test-driven Development
Applications (1st Choice)11 (11 submitted | 0 in-progress)
Applications (2nd Choice)4 (4 submitted | 0 in-progress)
Code of Conducthttps://github.com/ifmeorg/ifme/blob/master/code_of_conduct.md

Project Description

Project History

if-me.org is a mental health communication app that allows people to share their mental health experiences in a safe and private space with loved ones. We are a free, not-for-profit open source software project which utilizes Ruby on Rails, React, PostgreSQL, HTML, and SCSS.

Julia Nguyen started the project in 2014 as an undergraduate student studying computer science at the University of Waterloo. During this time, Julia started writing and giving talks about her experiences with OCD, PTSD, and depression.

The idea for if-me.org came from her experiences being a Vietnamese-Canadian with mental illness and having conversations about it with her family. The main focus of our project is to increase conversations in communities lacking mental health education, including minority, immigrant, and English as a Second Language (ESL) communities. Our site is translated into several languages including Spanish. We plan to continue expanding our translations.

We are a welcoming, inclusive, and beginner-friendly open source project, and committed to constantly improving contributor outreach and documentation. Diversity and inclusion in open source should also include welcoming non-technical contributors. We have contributors who help with user testing, social media, and our blog.

if-me.org wouldn’t be if-me.org without the incredible communities that help us reach more contributors, including Model View Culture, WoCinTechChat, CodeMontage, CodeNewbie, Hacker Hours, OS4W, Contributor Covenant, OpenHatch, Write/Speak/Code, MH Prompt, OSMI, Everybody Has A Brain, Brown Sisters Speak, and Tessera Collective.

This is a helpful talk by Julia about the project!

RGSoC History

In 2017, we were part of Rails Girls Summer of Code and mentored a team of two amazing mothers from Melbourne, Australia. It was such an amazing experience! Sophie McDonald and Jenny Nam got exposure to Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, automated testing, pair programming, and test-driven development. It was an incredible experience to watch their progress and growth. Their coaches and supervisors Adam Rice, Tim Moore, Simon Hildebrandt, Adel Smee, and Vi Nguyen were incredible mentors. Sophie and Jenny added much-needed test coverage for internationalization and our front-end JS, refactored many of our core Ruby code and worked on a new feature called Secret Moments, which allows users to generate and share private links to their Moments posts with anyone.

You can read more about their experiences:

In 2018, we mentored a team of two lovely university students from IIIT Bangalore, in India. Atibhi Agrawal and Prateksha Udhayanan were wonderful to work with. They got exposure to Ruby on Rails, React, automated testing, pair programming, and test-driven development. It was such a wonderful experience getting to learn with them, develop friendships in the process, and see them grow as leaders. Their coaches and supervisors Srishti Sengupta, Aditya Thiru, Athithya Kumar, Gaurav Koley, Raounaq Sharma, Álvaro Casado, Camille Villa, and Nishiki Liu were incredible mentors. We went through an app redesign thanks to Nishiki Liu. Atibhi and Prateksha worked on implementing accessible and well-tested React components. They also wrote documentation for these components in our design system on Storybook. The major project they worked on was adding the ability to block and report users who violate our Code of Conduct. We aim to be a safe space for mental health discussions, so trust and safety are very important to us.

You can read more about their experiences:

Overall, RGSoC has been such a fantastic experience and we are so proud of all the women we’ve had the incredible privilege of getting to work with! We’re excited at the prospect of participating in more events!

This project has a team of mentors:

  • Atibhi Agrawal
  • Benjamin Wacha
  • Hannah Masila
  • Julia Nguyen
  • Nishiki Liu

Project's Requirements

  • Experience with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is preferred
  • Exposure to the MVC (Model-View-Controller) pattern
  • Willingness to learn Ruby on Rails and React
  • Interest in test-driven development and writing unit, integration, and acceptance tests
  • Interest in full-stack web development
  • Interest in web accessibility
  • Interest in security and performance
  • Willingness to learn how to conduct pull request reviews
  • Passion for mental health and mission-driven software

Tasks And Features

Our technology stack includes Ruby on Rails, React, PostgreSQL, HTML, and SCSS. Our documentation is available on our GitHub. We use Github’s internal issues and project tools for project management. Slack is our primary communication tool for all contributors.

We are always looking to improve the quality of both our React and Rails codebases. There is also an opportunity to improve the accessibility, security, and performance of our app, in both the front-end and back-end.

The major project we want our students to work on this year is an affirmation tool within the app. This tool will prompt users on a recurring basis to fill out affirmations. For users going through a difficult time, these affirmations can be used later as kind and helpful reminders. This greenfield project is an opportunity to work on the design, user experience, and development of a new feature.

If you are thinking of applying to this project for RGSoC 2020 and have any questions, feel free to contact the project mentor by leaving a comment below or using the following channels:


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MonikaLukowska, Saturday, March 28, 20:32 UTC

Hi Julia, team codeManiacs has just sent you an email with short introduction:)


92612ShiyuQiu, Thursday, March 26, 01:09 UTC

Hi Juia, our team 200OK_SQQZ has sent you an email introducing us and asking questions. Please check the email. We are looking forwards to your reply. Thank you!

tea-n-biccies RGSoC, Friday, March 20, 13:42 UTC

Dear RGSoC applicants - we have added a new FAQ page to the website. Please check this out before asking mentors your questions, as we may already have an answer for you :)

Further details of how to apply to RGSoC (by 23:00 UTC on 30 March 2020) can be found at https://railsgirlssummerofcode.org/students

Julia Nguyen, Saturday, March 14, 17:35 UTC

Hi Palak, it looks like you did email us! I'm just beginning my day (I'm in California) and I responded back :)

Julia Nguyen, Saturday, March 14, 17:28 UTC

Oh no, did you already email us (in step one of these instructions?

Palak Sharma, Saturday, March 14, 12:58 UTC

@julia please help

Palak Sharma, Saturday, March 14, 12:58 UTC

I am not able to join the slack channel please help

tea-n-biccies RGSoC, Monday, March 9, 11:19 UTC

Hi everyone - the RGSoC team here :)
Just a reminder that student applications are open until 23:00 UTC on 30 March 2020.
For information on how to apply as a student so you can work on this project with RGSoC, please read the guidance at https://railsgirlssummerofcode.org/students

Hana Harencarova, Tuesday, March 3, 11:20 UTC

Hi Julia,

Great, thank you for the link :)


Julia Nguyen, Monday, March 2, 15:33 UTC

Thanks for reaching out everyone! We're excited that there's been interest :)

There's info for contacting us here!

Please also submit an application through this app! :)


Hana Harencarova, Monday, March 2, 12:32 UTC

Hi Julia,

With my teammate Becky we're really impressed with all the work you've already done. We would be honored to be part of the team and to work on the affirmation tool to move this great idea forward. We'll be happy to get in touch with you to discuss your expectations and how we can most effectively contribute to your project.

Warm regards,
Hana and Beck from the 'Between the clouds' team

Kritika Singhal, Sunday, March 1, 06:25 UTC

Hello Julia Nguyen,
We are team BoredBipolers and we are going to participate in RGSoC.
I am Kritika Singhal and my teammate is Megha Pathak.
We really liked your project. Though all the details mentioned give clear understanding of the project but can you guide us at initial phase what tasks we are supposed to do. How and where we can get started?