Why Digital, Bournemouth University and The Drum to host a fringe hackathon. ‘Do it Day’ has the ambitious mission to destigmatise mental health. Last year the focus was on workplace wellbeing and this year the theme was young people’s mental health.
The aim was to offer a fresh perspective to under 18s at risk of mental health issues and suicide. It was also important to empower them to help themselves and each other.
The Do it Day hackathon…
The hackathon was hosted by our charity parthers at the Stable Restaurant, Bournemouth, who fuelled us with pizza and wonderful hospitality. Digital industry individuals with a range of expertise including marketing, development, innovation, creativity and communication attended the day. Divided into teams they were tasked with using their skills to help destigmatise mental health. The day began with coffees and networking, before a discussion of the problems facing young people these days.
According to Rethink, 1 in 10 young people have a mental health diagnosis – and those are just the ones we know about. Suicide rates in under 18s have seen an increase of 67% from 2010 to 2017. Further figures from the Office of National Statistics show that in the last year alone, 187 under 19s took their own lives; a 15% rise compared to last year. This demonstrates increasing demand that the statutory services are struggling to meet- CAMHS in Poole can currently only treat the worst 3%, meaning many struggling children are left behind.
Our teams had to create and pitch a project idea to help support youth mental health, which is sustainable, achievable and impactful. People that had only just met shared knowledge and ideas to create a realistic and sustainable solution to the brief.
Pitching the ideas
At the end of the day, each of the four teams pitched their idea to a panel that included two young people. The winning team will coach a team of Bournemouth University students to develop the campaign and launch it.
The first team proposed ‘Pop-up Productions’, a collaborative wellbeing initiative. Young people and university students would produce a theatre show, whilst learning about mindfulness and other mental health techniques.
The second team proposed ‘Well Ahead,’ an app to manage wellbeing with a mood tracker, information, signposting and helplines. Team three also proposed an app. ‘Grounded’ gamifies mental health with a swipe feature to give targeted advice and support.
The fourth team proposed a simple but effective solution titled ‘Notice the Signs.’
It was a low cost and maintenance campaign that involves a weekly-updated whiteboard. Tailored mental health advice and tips featured on it with the intention of creating conversations and reducing stigma.
After the pitches, the panel discussed the different ideas and announced the winning team: Team 4, with ‘Notice the Signs’! In summary, it was a wonderful day collaborating with the local digital community to tackle youth mental health stigma.
Thanks to everyone that came to support the event, our partners and also The Stable for hosting us magnificently. Thanks also to Timo Peach for sitting on the panel and Rock Recruitment for sponsoring the hackathon.