IAYMH Trip to Canada / USA

A few months ago we received an email inviting Lifehack to co-facilitate a workshop at a conference together with our friends at Young & Well Co-operative Research Centre in Australia and two young community leaders. The sender?


The International Association of Youth Mental Health.


The conference location?
Montréal, Canada.  We delightfully decided to accept.


We have since spent hours on Hangouts, writing run sheets and thinking about how to translate our mahi for the audience of an international conference where the audience is made up of academics and young people alike.


In addition to this invitation, we also got asked to present on our co-design approach. For good measure, we also submitted an abstract around Impact evaluation – which got accepted too. (We promise to make both presentations available after the conference).
As part of our research for Lifehack, we have long looked abroad for inspiration, best practice to continue to push our learning. From afar, we have admired organisations for the impact evaluation, or their approach to bringing across educational content, or for the leading research into the field of health & tech. We have had some conversations, but largely via the internet. We decided as a team to send two of us to America, on a research trip concluding at the conference in Montréal in mid-October.


Last week, we start in San Francisco meeting with university-based innovation labs. Today we are in New York City, and we are making our way to Toronto and Montreal in the next two weeks.


So here we are, Chelsea & Gina, sitting in a friends’ apartment and getting ready for our first East Coast meetings, and planning our presentations for IAYMH. We will be listening intently, asking questions, making friends – all with the view to taking our learning back to Aotearoa New Zealand to support our mahi. We will be sharing what we’re learning, so that as many people as possible can benefit from this trip.


PS: We even found some trees! That’s us at the Highline below. Note: The financial resources needed to make this trip viable have come out of sources unrelated to the funding we receive from the Social Media Innovation Fund. Over the past few months we’ve been doing consultancy work, in addition to regular Lifehack work – as part of our ambition to diversify our funding – which we have collectively decided to resource this trip with.

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