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The SNF Global Health Initiative (GHI) is supporting Sapien Labs in expanding its Global Mind Project, a database that seeks to provide a basis for understanding the factors that promote or undermine mental health, to young people ages 13-17.

Founded in 2016, Sapien Labs aims to understand how the fast-changing world we live in impacts the human brain and mind, identify root causes of negative outcomes, and create preventative strategies that push forward noticeable change. Its Global Mind Project is a major program that tracks mental wellbeing along with sociocultural, lifestyle, and technological factors in dozens of countries with the goal of understanding dominant trends in mental health and their key drivers.

Determined to investigate trends in youth mental health, Sapien Labs hopes that expanding the Global Mind Project from the adult populations it had previously engaged to adolescents will yield valuable insights that can catalyze effective solutions. The youth assessment, launched in August 2023, captures how respondents are feeling and how well they are functioning across a range of cognitive, social, emotional, and physical dimensions.

The SNF-supported expansion seeks to collect hundreds of thousands of new mental health profiles and examine the potential impacts of smartphones, ultra-processed food, cannabis, vaping, and other factors on the youth mental health crisis. Envisioned outcomes include recommendations of preventative strategies for families and schools, academic papers offering insights, and pilot case studies at schools.

As organizations around the world are alarmed by trends of declining mental health among young people, SNF supports Sapien Labs’ work to understand the root causes of these trends and inform solutions that can change this trajectory.