Youth Hackathon to Improve Mental Health and Wellbeing

Dianova participated in a conference and contest to design innovative projects in the field of mental health

CAS Conference

The aim was to think of long-term solutions for issues such as addiction prevention for young people, raising awareness, or the involvement of families in prevention programs

Young people have a lot to offer. With their energy and fresh outlook, the role they play should be taken into account, especially when it comes to issues that affect their future.

Dianova has had the opportunity to participate in a virtual conference on “Mental Health and Wellbeing” organised by  CAS Trips, a community providing educational experiences worldwide. They are inspired by the Creativity, activity, service – International Baccalaureate (CAS) and aim to generate a genuine, sustainable and positive impact through transformative, cross-cultural experiences. The conferences and activities that they organize are aimed at young people between the ages of 14 and 18.

Dianova participated as the keynote speaker and partner NGO for the event, which took place between the 16th and 17th of October 2021. In addition to the keynote speech on topics surrounding mental health and wellbeing, which we linked to the subject of addiction, Dianova was able to work with a group of young people in a Hackathon exercise. This exercise refers to the collective experience of working together to achieve a common goal of developing an application or solution in a short amount of time. The term “Hackathon” combines the concepts “marathon” and “hacker.” In the case of Dianova’s collaboration, the aim was to think of long-term solutions for issues such as addiction prevention for young people, raising awareness, improving the organisation’s online presence, or the involvement of families in prevention programs.

60 young people registered and worked on these topics for a few hours in small groups (of around four people), with each group proposing an innovative project. A pre-selection was made from CAS Trips, and from the 9 final projects Dianova chose the project that was most applicable to the organisation. It was difficult to select the winning project from such creative, concise and well-developed proposals.

In the end, the project “Socially (Dis) Connected”, in collaboration with Locust Valley High School (New York, USA) and Holy Heart High School (Newfoundland, Canada)  was the winning project. It proposed a series of podcasts focused on the negative effects that social networks can have on young people, promoting the involvement of family members and caregivers for its prevention.


The winning team, composed of Rachel Ruiz, Ryan Kanter, Stella Cook and Shaharyar Siddiqui.

The interesting thing is that it is not just about designing a project. The idea is for the organization to actually implement that project. In order for it to be implemented, CAS Trips will make a donation of $ 1000 to Dianova, who will work together with the young winners to adapt and implement the proposed project.

We at Dianova would like to thank CAS Trips for the opportunity to participate in this conference and to organise the interesting Hackathon exercise, and for the donation made for its implementation. It will undoubtedly bring added value to the work of Dianova and our beneficiaries. Together, farther!