I had an amazing past weekend at LumoHacks, which was an event hosted by a local tech company, to develop a device or software to improve the lives of people living with mental health challenges. It was a 24 hour event with so many great and innovative teams contributing towards a greater cause. Most of the participants and organizers were in their early twenties either recently graduated or in their fourth year at university.
After attending this event as a presenter for an anxiety workshop, and a late night meditation session, I feel more optimistic about the future when it comes to mental health. I listened to and observed so many of the 500 participants enthusiastically talk about mental health, and I was amazed by how open they were on the subject. Now in my forties, I feel that my generation is the bridge that will help us cross over to the other side when it comes to talking about mental health. But the generations to follow will be the leaders and ambassadors who will have the knowledge, capacity and foundation to foster true change in how we look at mental health. This was clearly demonstrated at LumoHacks.
Listening to these open minded young adults talk about finding solutions for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety was so inspiring and I believe there is absolutely reason for hope. Mental health awareness plasters over thousands of Facebook posts, along with Instagram and Twitter to name a few. Social media has become such a powerful tool used by our younger generations and they are helping everyone to drive awareness, to get people talking about it and to ultimately remove the stigma. Thus, these great minds at LumoHacks decided to take something that is so relevant such as technology and social media, and use it to benefit the mental health community. Quite frankly, I was blown away by how creative their ideas were, and as I sat there chatting with some of the participants and organizers: Marinah, Grace, Trevor, Kelly, Hong, Wai-Ling, Howard and Susie to name a few, I wanted to literally shake their hands and thank them for being so eager to listen, learn and share their brilliant tech ideas! It was absolutely refreshing and inspiring to listen to and watch their enthusiasm!
The numbers are astounding with so many people around the world affected by mental health challenges. We simply can not turn a blind eye to the problems our neighbors are having, nor family members, friends and colleagues. Thus, I feel it is absolutely our social responsibility to help promote awareness in mental health and find solutions. We have an obligation to our community.
With mental health day coming up in October, let’s all do our part and simply spread the word to help educate our younger generations to find solutions and break the stigma, because it’s working. And the brilliant minds at LumoHacks is evidence of that.