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Lifehack Weekends head to the regions

Lifehack Weekends head to the regions

Lifehack Weekends are back and young people from across the country are getting together to create technology-based solutions to mental health issues.

“Part of the Government’s $2 million Social Media Innovations Fund, Lifehack events give young people the reins to create tools that work for them, with support from technology experts, academics, and other mentors,” says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

“Lifehack acknowledges that politicians and policy creators don’t have all the answers when it comes to youth mental health, and we sure don’t have the tech skills and online nous that now comes so naturally to young people.”

This is the second year Lifehack Weekends have been held, following a successful round in 2013 with several youth-driven projects now under development.

That includes an app aimed at helping young people deal with harmful feelings, and a tool that lets older children customise avatars to guide them through problems they face.

“Following the first event in Christchurch this year which included input from the Student Volunteer Army’s Sam Johnson, Lifehack Weekends now move to the regions, compared to being held solely in major cities in 2013,” says Mrs Bennett.

“It’s fantastic to see this initiative moving wider across the country, where more young people will have the chance to give us a piece of their minds about what they need to combat the problems they face.”

“We’ve already seen young West Coasters getting creative with two great ideas to come out of their weekend in March.”

The SoundCarving project is being led by local high school students with help from Tai Poutini Polytechnic, and explores how music - in particular an online music hub - can help create a sense of belonging for young people.

Another project, You Know You’re A Coaster, is looking to build a social media campaign to give West Coast kids a real sense of pride in their hometowns, when some feel they’ll only be happier or successful if they move to a bigger city.

Lifehack will move to Invercargill in May, followed by Northland in June with more events to be announced soon.

Supporting Lifehack, the Social Media Innovations Fund is one of nine Ministry of Social Development-led initiatives in the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project.

For more information on the Lifehack initiative, see http://lifehackhq.co/

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