The Global Youth Health Summit and Hackathon (GYHS), hosted by MDJunior, a non-profit organisation that empowers young people to tackle health issues, is in its second year and will run from September 15 to 16, 2018. The Summit aims to equip the youth with a platform to face challenges head on. According to the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre, the incidence of mental illness in Hong Kong adolescents has risen by more than 50 per cent in the past five years. Hong Kong, and East Asia in general, fosters an environment in which academic pressure and social stress is ampilfied by a student's parents and peers.
Eager to find solutions, students from MDJunior organised GYHS, The event, to take place at Hong Kong International School (HKIS), is the first hackathon event of its kind in Asia.
Sid Verma, one of the GYHS student organisers, says, “[the event] is designed to unite secondary school and college students with youth from different walks of life, and inspire them to develop innovative solutions for these issues.”
At GYHS, students can attend workshops, keynotes and panel discussions led by experts in healthcare such as Dr. Anisha Abraham, a paediatrician with more than 20 years of experience in counselling young people in matters such as depression and drug use.
Euihyun Choi, student leader of HKIS’s MDJunior club, says she's looking forward to meeting the speakers and gaining valuable insights into the medical field. “I want to know more about the responsibilities and maturity level required to become a doctor," says the aspiring doctor.
The workshops and discussions are all geared towards helping the students understand the issues at hand, and to then work together to generate tangible solutions.
“Today in our technological world there are so many opportunities to use this valuable medium to help teenagers,” says Jason Lee, student organiser of the GYHS. “To code the solution into reality in 12 hours within a team setting is an intriguing application-based opportunity.”
This event also allows the attendees an opportunity to gain a better understand of mental health and how it affects local and global healthcare professionals and leaders.
According to Euihyun, most people don’t realise that “curing people isn’t just about giving them medicine, it’s about forming a positive relationship. If your mental health is better, your physical health will follow.”
“Who better to lead the charge for the youth's mental health than the youth themselves, with the support of the global community?” says Sid.