CivTech’s wildcard challenge: ‘starting the mental health conversation’

StirlingFollowing the unveiling of CivTech’s 3.0 challenges, the Scottish Government’s technology incubator is releasing its final challenge for 2018. It has been set by a unique partnership between young people who are part of the Our Place Our Space initiative, NHS National Services Scotland (NHS NSS), Healthcare Improvement Scotland, and Stirling Council.

NHS NSS is the lead co-sponsor for the challenge, and Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Stirling Council are supporting co-sponsors. Young people from Stirling have led on the development of the challenge.

“We wanted to test bringing citizens into the challenge definition process,” said a spokesperson, “and create a citizen-sourced challenge, to give people a voice earlier on in the whole CivTech flow.

“This being the Year of Young People, those citizens are young people from the Stirling area who, with help from Stirling Council and Young Scot, have led the way bringing their top challenges to the table. The one selected to go forward is themed around mental health, which is a pressing issue, particularly for young people.”

They identified mental health as one of the key challenge themes affecting their age group, and can see the impact mental health challenges can have, from affecting relationships with friends and family to impacting achievement at school – and to serious physical harm, and even suicide.

Challenge organisers said they also appreciated the complex and varied types of mental health difficulties that can contribute to these impacts.

With the challenge now launched, initial interviews held in the week beginning 20 August. The exploration phase will be a seven-day ‘sprint’ from 15 September with final pitches held on Saturday 22 September.

Wildcard participants will join the core CivTech Accelerator which will run from 9 October 2018 until 1st February 2019. The CivTech 3.0 Demo Day is currently scheduled to be held on 6 February 2019.