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Wellness Challenge for Teens Guided by Guest Speaker

In about two weeks, students around the world will be working together to create wellness program proposals specifically just for teens. To guide their thinking and to help us choose the best ideas in this Forum Competition are our guest speakers and panelists.

We are thrilled to announce that Akereke Makhmud, a mental health researcher, currently working as a consultant at World Health Organization in Switzerland and a project coordinator at King's College in London will be joining us on this journey.

Thank you, Akerke! The team list will be announced on March 2, World Teen Mental Health Wellness Day. It is our goal to compile best practices around the world and share them with all high schools. Please email us if you are interested in receiving a report at the end of the Forum.

Akerke is a mental health researcher and aspiring to pursue a career in clinical psychology and mental health research and policy. Currently Akerke is working as a project coordinator at King’s College London and also as a consultant at WHO. Previously Akerke was a consultant for UNICEF working on a project focusing on adolescent mental health in Europe and Central Asia. The work was done together with a youth advisory group and was informed and shaped by their input. Akerke’s interests are primarily in adolescent mental health, mental health stigma and discrimination as well as mental health integration in primary healthcare and other programs. Previously, Akerke wrote a small exercise book about self-esteem that was published in Kazakhstan in Russian and Kazakh languages, and raised awareness about common myths about healthy self-esteem and mental health in general. Also, Akerke volunteered in multiple countries in healthcare facilities, community centers for young people and worked as a researcher and writer on the topics of adolescent social-emotional development and common mental health needs. Akerke is hoping to work with adolescents and young people in Central Asia and across other regions of the world.

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