University of Guelph hackathon yields new ideas for campus mental health

Posted on March 23rd, 2017

Winning idea, “Guelph Cares”, connects students in need of mental health support with someone they can talk to

The University of Guelph now has a swath of new ideas for tackling student mental health, thanks to the students and staff who took part in last weekend’s “Guelph Hacks for Mental Health.”

The university’s annual hackathon asks students to come up with solutions to a broad social challenge. This year, the focus was mental health.

“A lot of it is that there’s not enough opportunities and [mental health] resources available to students,” Patrick Houlding, a student organizer told CBC News.

Guelph Cares

The winning submission, “Guelph Cares”, is an app that allows volunteer mentors to connect online with students who are dealing with mental health concerns.

“The general idea is to try [and] increase the amount of resources that the student support network has to talk to the student body,” said Matthew Sampson, member of team Guelph Cares.

Other submissions included a system that would look at a student’s grade data, and identify any sudden or significant drops in grades, which is often an indicator of mental health concerns.

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