UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and Google recently hosted the final round of the John E. Martin Mental Healthcare Challenge, in which teams of students from across the United States competed for a total of $25,000 in price.
The teams, comprised of graduate students and business leaders, presented programs and strategic solutions to address specific mental health issues facing vulnerable and underserved adolescents in a culturally appropriate way.
“Rural resilience”, this year’s winning group, developed a program that promotes resilience in rural trans teens.
Thanks to this initiative, calledYOU ALLwhich uses a multi-pronged bottom-up approach, it uses digital technology and rotating in-person neighborhood events to spark joy among the trans community and reach young people earlier than mental health crises.
Y’ALL member Julia Cohen said:
Our team was honored to be part of the John E. Martin Mental Health Challenge and is grateful to the other teams who came up with creative solutions to improve rural adolescent mental health.
This year’s programming focused on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).
Among the organizations that have participated in different events, symposia and workshops focused on creating equitable, inclusive, effective and sustainable mental health products and services, the following stand out:
- The University of Texas
- Florida International University
- California State University
- San Jose State University
- Morehouse College
- Florida A&M University
- Winston Salem State University
“The day was filled with inspiring and influential speakers who pushed our thinking across different areas of mental health equity. We are delighted that the judges recognized the importance and potential impact of Y’ALL,” said added Cohen.
After tragically losing his father in a car accident in 2013, former UC Berkeley student and Googler Michael Martin founded the John E. Martin Fellowship to celebrate his father’s passion and commitment to mentoring and support veterans returning from war.
Additionally, in his quest to create diversity, equity and inclusion awareness programs to scale up efforts to improve quality and access to mental health care, he founded 2020 the John E. Martin Mental Healthcare Challenge.
“Everyone who participated in this year’s John E. Martin Mental Health Challenge embodied the best humanity has to offer. They collaborated. They listened. They learned. They are committed to standing up for their mental health and the mental health of others. I came away from the event inspired and hopeful for the future,” said Martin.
In the first round of the competition, teams of students developed strategies and solutions that address the mental health needs of urban youth.
The 6 finalist teams presented in person to a panel of judges their ideas and solutions to address the mental health needs of underserved rural youth.
“Enabling better and more equitable access to mental health care is a critical issue. I’m thrilled to see students working with business leaders to address this issue, and I’m incredibly proud of our Haas student team for having embraced the Berkeley Haas commitment to inclusion and innovation,” noted Ann Harrison, dean of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.
For his part, Dr. Sohini Stone, Google Medical Director for Global Employee Health, noted, “As an ecosystem, we continue to shift the conversation from discussing mental illness to a holistic approach that considers mental health from prevention to diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
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