14 tech-based innovations tackle youth mental health challenges

Blog by Elisha London and Anna Huber: “Depression, anxiety and behavioural conditions are the leading cause of illness for young people and suicide is the fourth most prevalent cause of death amongst 15- to 19-year-olds. Meanwhile, around 50 per cent of mental health conditions begin by the age 14 and 75 per cent by age 24. So, if youth mental health challenges and their environmental factors aren’t addressed, they extend into adulthood. Conversely, having good mental health means being better able to cope, connect and function, leading to more fulfilling and productive lives…

The Uplink Youth Mental Health Challenge by the World Economic Forum sought to identify some of the leading innovations around the world working to address these transformational needs, especially those led by young people themselves….

Here are the top 14 innovators selected:

1. Attensi and Dr. Raknes have developed the learning simulation Helping Hand, with the aim of preventing mental health disorders in adolescents. The game takes players through a series of life-like scenarios to reinforce positive decision-making, facilitate talking about feelings and thoughts, helping others master challenges and asking for help when needed.

2. Neolth Inc. offers a range of activities to help teens build coping skills and learn about mental health. Upon sign up, its proprietary algorithm matches teens with content personalized for their health needs, such as educational videos by clinicians and stigma-reducing content about lived experiences by teens.

3. Onkout connects a culturally relevant and unique trauma-informed, collective mental health peer support program to a virtual business training program, and the financial tools to improve young people’s lives. It supports young people in conflict-affected countries to be able to access services that are currently not available

4. Opa Mind has developed a “Voice Driven” support platform for people who struggle with emotional & mental health pressures. Opa Mind’s voice input system can listen and display various emotional based metrics, vocal biomarkers and supports, enabling individuals to undertake actionable follow-up steps in order to improve health and wellbeing.

5. OPTT, together with Curatio, offer an online psychotherapy tool to provide a technology-embedded, peer-to-peer social network for improved health outcomes. They allow mental wellness content producers, mental health teams, local health providers, and communities to work together to offer solutions proactively to their community members.

6. Renewal International Trust developed Positive Konnections (PK), a mobile application with a mental health intervention for young people with HIV that is designed to counter effects of stigma and help them access services privately or anonymously. The PK model uses creative narrative therapy techniques delivered on an accessible, youth-friendly platform…(More)”