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Students Participate In Youth Mental Health Innovation Challenge

Youth Mental Health Innovation Challenge A group of Sycamore High School students just participated in 1N5’s Youth Mental Health Innovation Challenge.

The two-day workshop at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital brought together high school students, college students, and professional mentors from across the Greater Cincinnati area to develop innovative solutions to today’s mental health issues.

The event began with Tom Merrill, Director of the Xavier University Center for Innovation, educating and inspiring students on the innovative design thinking process and problem-solving strategies. From there, students worked in small teams of five to create, develop, and present their creative solutions to intentional mental health challenge prompts designed to make students think outside the box to arrive at useful and practical solutions for today’s youth. Student teams worked closely with professional mentors on their solution development, proposal, pitch, and presentation.

At the end of the second day of the workshop, the student team presented their innovative solutions in front of an expert judging panel of mental health and social change experts. Out of ten teams, five were awarded $1,000 and one team was awarded $5,000 to implement their innovative idea. 1N5 will be working with these teams as they move forward with their projects.


Sycamore students represented two teams. Alaina Delsignore and Deeya Prakash’s team came up with the idea of a student-lead mental health magazine, which would allow students to share their stories about mental health and distribute them through high schools in the Cincinnati area. You can watch a WLWT story about their project by clicking here. Ellie Forman and Alicia Luo’s team presented the idea of virtual reality glasses for students to gain an understanding of what it feels like to experience a mental illness. Their group was one of the five teams awarded $1000 for an implementation grant.

Sycamore Schools is currently working with 1N5, a local nonprofit organization committed to stopping the stigma and starting the conversation about mental health. The district will share a three-year comprehensive plan in Fall 2019.