Education

Headstream Accelerator 2024 Addresses Mental Health with Roy Scott and Atlanta’s Healthy Hip Hop  [Listen]

Young people are struggling with mental health issues at an unprecedented rate. Coupled with the protracted years of war, school shootings and the pandemic, as well as unbridled access to the internet, young people are taking their lives and suffering mental health maladies in numbers the nation has never witnessed before.

Headstream Accelerator, an innovation program that works to improve the mental well-being of adolescents within systematically excluded communities is providing unprecedented financial support in a raging race to get ahead of the curve and identify young people at risk and provide alternative supports for young people at risk.

Through Headstream’s recently launched 2024 Accelerator program, selected organizations receive $30,000 in funding to participate in events curated online and in-person, and have access to Headstream’s community of over a thousand potential investors and customers.

Here in Atlanta Healthy Hip Hop is a groundbreaking example of the types of social technology in a creative, youth-friendly platform that experts are looking to to advance mental health and well-being in promising new ways. Roy Scott is the CEO of the Atlanta-based organization that combines the power of hip-hop with technology and education to enhance student learning environments. The company has integrated with 300 schools and 11,000 students, teachers, and parents to create a healthier experience with music for youth, and to promote positive experiences and values.

“This is a whole new world and understanding how kids are using digital is not about vilifying it, but understanding that this is the new reality so how do we meet them where they are and how do we create safe spaces for kids to interact through music and movement,” explains Scott. “For me as a parent that’s what influenced me to want to create this space,” he said adding, “when I was a kid we used to go outside to explore, now kids do it from the internet.”

The Yale School of Medicine recently reported that, in a study of more than 5,000 9- and 10-year-olds , time spent on digital technology directly correlated to the likelihood of developing depression and anxiety within a couple of years.

“We’re not [looking] to take away devices from kids or even adults. As adults we’re glued to our devices too, but how do we as parents set some boundaries for ourselves and our kids,” adds Scott.

By 2026, Headstream strives to support the mental well-being of 20 million young people, integrate digital mental health products into over 150 school districts, and support 100+ entrepreneurs to generate over $200 million in revenue.

“By identifying and supporting new leaders in the digital mental health field, we are ensuring that a system that is not currently meeting the needs of young people is injected with new ideas and new individuals carrying the wealth of their lived experiences. We’re confident that by providing this cohort of innovators with access to resources and new opportunities, we are ultimately creating a more robust and comprehensive system of support for people of all age groups,” said David Ball, Sr. Director of Health and Human Well-being Economy at SecondMuse, an impact and innovation company working to strengthen communities in all corners of the world. The company is dedicated to implementing strategies for change and improved quality of life on all 7 continents with 600+ organizations such as NASA, The World Bank, Nike, Pivotal Ventures, USAID, The World Health Organization, and The Rockefeller Foundation/

“Things are not okay with our kids,” expressed concerned Atlanta Public Schools worker Rita Gay. “I would love to not only see a program like Healthy Hip Hop in this school, I would really want my grandchildren to have access to the program and its benefits.”

If you are interested in partnering or collaborating with Headstream to scale these innovations, please contact us at hello@headstreaminnovation.com

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