Megan Johnston

Megan Johnston – The Joy Diaries

Date grant awarded: April 25, 2019

The Joy Diaries is exploring a social business idea focused on preventing suicide in first responders and military personnel. The idea is to provide effective mechanisms for finding and receiving joy and to empower a first responder’s community to support them more effectively when they are unable to access traditional supports and services. This includes support from everyday community members as well as providing a platform to connect first responder personnel with other service members who have shared experiences but are not in proximity to the local community and are thus outside the immediate traumatic event. Suicide in this demographic is now exceeding line of duty deaths in most jurisdictions. We all have a responsibility to prevent these deaths.

The Pollination Project grant funds will be used to conduct user research to confirm planned features are desired in the target audience and to further refine the concept in preparation for seeking additional funding. The Joy Diaries idea was born out of personal lived experience working with first responder communities struggling to support each other following occupational stress. 6 years ago Megan Johnston watched helplessly as a close friend lost someone to suicide. These experiences left her with a strong conviction that our communities have a responsibility for all the lives in them.