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Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub driving change in mental healthcare approaches with RBC Youth Health Innovation Challenge

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Premier Tim Houston

The Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub, the RBC Foundation, the QEII Foundation, IGNITE Atlantic, Nova Scotia Health Mental Health and Addictions Program, IWK Health and Kids Help Phone are inviting young people from across the province to participate in a first-of-its-kind competition aimed at developing new mental health solutions.  

The RBC Youth Health Innovation Challenge is open to those aged 16-25 and will consist of six regional events where teams will present their ideas for a new approach to delivering mental healthcare.  Teams will receive support and mentoring on idea development, as they prepare for the regional pitch events which will take place throughout April. 

“We are challenging the assumption that healthcare solutions must be developed by clinicians in clinical settings. We're engaging young people experiencing the barriers and issues and involving them in building solutions that are informed by them and will work for them,” says Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice President, Research, Innovation and Discovery and Innovation Partnerships.  

“Through this challenge, we will not only empower our young people to collaborate on actionable healthcare initiatives, but we will also take a meaningful step in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and addictions.”  

The winners of each regional competition will be invited to participate in a final pitch challenge in May. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winning teams at each stage. 

 “We know the important role that mental health and well-being plays in a young person’s success,” says Vinita Savani, RBC Regional President, Atlantic Canada. “Through this important partnership, RBC Future Launch is helping unlock the ideas and creativity of young people and improve timely access to knowledge, supports and care, when and where they need it.” 

This challenge will look to harness perspectives from various socio-economic backgrounds – including Indigenous and African Nova Scotian communities, those living with disabilities and those in underserved communities – bringing perspectives from different lived experiences, different upbringings and different interactions with health support systems.  
 

 “The QEII Health Sciences Centre is there for youth when they transition from pediatric health care to adult programming. While supports are in place for this transition, including those previously funded by QEII Foundation donors, there are always new ways of thinking that can improve care,” shares Susan Mullin, President and CEO of the QEII Foundation. “The QEII Foundation, and our community of donors, including the RBC Foundation, are passionate about ensuring QEII patients have the best care available when they need it most. When we empower young people and actively involve them in finding solution-focused ideas on improving mental health supports, we get fresh, creative perspectives that can have life-changing impact.”   

Quick Facts:  

  • The deadline for registration is March 20 

  • Winning teams of each regional competition will be awarded $2,000 

  • The winning team of the final pitch competition will be awarded $8,000 and work with Nova Scotia Health to implement their innovation between June-August 2024  

  • The RBC Foundation contributed $100,000 to the Youth Health Innovation Challenge  

  • The QEII Foundation contributed $50,000 to the Youth Health Innovation Challenge 

Additional Resources:  

RBC Youth Mental Health Innovation Challenge: https://innovationhub.nshealth.ca/partnering-nova-scotia-health-innovation-hub/rbc-youth-health-innovation-challenge