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Declining mental health sparks competition for students in Richmond, Lower Mainland

Winning high school team will receive a $250 prize for their solution
YouthTalkNation at a competition
A high school team discussing their case study at a YouthTalkNation competition in 2019.

With mental-health declining among youth, a Richmond-based youth organization is hosting a competition to look for solutions to issues they’re facing.

Ten teams comprised of high school students will compete on April 17, tasked with creating a solution to a mental-health case.

YouthTalkNation, an organization connecting youth voices and ideas, is partnering with the HOPE Foundation Initiative to host its annual competition focusing on creating and improving mental health resources in schools for Metro Vancouver this year.

The organization surveyed more than 200 students in Metro Vancouver and the results showed a “significant decline in student mental well-being” due to ongoing restrictions and changes to school activities, according to Franco Ng, founder of YouthTalkNation.

“Our student representatives have expressed a significant decline in mental health due to the stress of their health and safety attending school during the pandemic,” said Ng.

“As an organization that encourages youth ideas and participation, we hope that YouthTalkNation can play a role in furthering the conversation about student mental well-being.”

High school students will need to register as teams of two to five to take part in the competition. They will be required to participate in a case competition training as well as a mental wellness workshop before the actual competition.

Each group’s solution to the topic will be evaluated by a panel of judges based on creativity, feasibility and presentation skills and the winning team will receive $250.

YouthTalkNation’s mental health case competition will be held online Saturday, April 17 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Deadline to register is April 9 at 11:59 p.m. at