As part of the Logan City Council’s Real World Innovators series, students are challenged to think outside of the box and bring real-world context to a local issue, through expert industry mentorship and masterclasses. The mental health hackathon was designed for students to have a say in what mental health support should look like now and into the future, because who better to design mental health initiatives for teenagers than the ones who have the most exposure and experience?
The hackathon involved around 50 students from the Logan Region from years 7-10, where they heard a keynote from Milly Bannister, the founder of ALLKND, as well as a fireside chat with a social worker in the field. There were also various mentors who attended the day to help facilitate conversations and build on ideas with the students.
After exploring some statistics and personal stories about youth mental health, the students were able to identify their main concerns and key issues from what they personally experience or see in their friend groups or schools. Then they were proposed a challenge to develop an initiative in one of three spheres: a digital solution (for example an app like headspace), a school based program, or a community space. Two masterclasses were run by the BOP team on ‘App & Website Design’ and ‘Designed Spaces’ so students could learn the basics and then bring this knowledge back to their teams to continue working on their mental health initiative.
The most rewarding part of the day by far was seeing so many engaged and passionate students volunteering to pitch their ideas in front of the whole room. We had a Councillor from the City of Logan listening in and giving feedback to the groups who presented, as well as their teachers and the BOP team. It was amazing to see how much effort they had put into their ideas and presentations, and to see that they felt truly empowered to begin to make changes in their chosen areas of mental health. It’s always a pleasure working alongside Logan City Council to explore these very real challenges in society, and ultimately empower young people to voice their concerns and create meaningful solutions.
To find out more about how we could run a similar program with young people in your local community, make sure to check out our Industry Program Opportunities and submit an enquiry to get in touch with our team!