We’ve launched a Virtual Escape Room for youth! The pandemic has made it more difficult to reach youth and inform them about ConnecTeen, our youth program. We’ve launched this Virtual Escape Room to educate youth about ConnecTeen, and provide mental health and crisis intervention resources in a fun, interactive way.
There are two rooms currently available to play. In the first, you play as a youth in distress, using coping skills to handle the crisis. In the second, you learn to best support another youth experiencing a crisis. Learn more and start playing.
ConnecTeen provides 24 hour crisis support to youth in Calgary by phone, chat and text. Youth can contact ConnecTeen 24/7 to talk about any issues their dealing with, whether that’s bullying, homework stress, thoughts of suicide, or anything else. From 3-10pm on weekdays and 12-10pm on weekends, youth can talk with a highly trained youth volunteer, who can better understand their issue.
UW Blueprint and FYDP
The escape room was made in partnership with UW Blueprint and FYDP. UW Blueprint is an NPO that consists of a group of students at the University of Waterloo dedicated to building and promoting technology for social good. Blueprint partners with other non-profit organizations to provide technological solutions free of charge.
From UW Blueprint: “Our mission is to make beautiful engineering accessible and useful for those who create communities and promote public welfare. This project in partnership with Distress Centre Calgary (ConnecTeen specifically) was an ideal opportunity for collaboration and promote the use of tech for social good.”
The FYDP team is a group of 4th-year Software Engineering students with a passion for social good. They are current students who want to leverage the technical skills they have gained to build products that can make a positive impact on the world.
Jay Dhulia is a member of the FYDP team as well as a ConnecTeen volunteer alumnus!
“Moving to Calgary as an immigrant, I faced a lot of challenges adapting to high school in Canada. I didn’t have anyone I could talk to about my problems with at school or at home. That’s when I learned about ConnecTeen,” said Jay. “I was always able to reach out and get support whenever I needed it. Once I got the help that I needed, I wanted to help other people also get support during their times of need. I decided to volunteer with ConnecTeen. I volunteered on the lines for about 5 years, after which I moved to Waterloo for school and had to stop volunteering. But I had always aimed to come back and help out more.”
That aim came to fruition when Jay partnered with ConnecTeen to develop a virtual escape room, using the skills he’d gained in university.
“Through this project and partnership, I hope to spread awareness about the resources and coping strategies available in a manner that is engaging to our younger population,” said Jay.
We’re grateful for the support of FYDP and UW Blueprint for bringing the Virtual Escape Room to life. Please share this resource with the youth in your life!