What kind of ideas can I work on?

Our theme is the important and under-served area of mental health, so we hope that many teams will choose that as a point of focus. However, we suggest that (unless you are an expert in that field), teams looking to support positive mental health outcomes use the resources provided by Suffolk Mind. These highlight nine emotional needs (such as Respect – feeling valued by others and Privacy — time and space to ourselves) as well as eight Internal (innate) resources. 

So we suggest that, rather than trying to think of an idea that will impact mental health directly, you can think of how people could be helped to add more (say) privacy to their working day, or to (say) have opportunities to earn the respect of their local community. The judges, in choosing a winner, won’t be making a judgement on whether your idea will produce a positive mental health impact, but on criteria including which one or more of those needs your idea addresses, and what evidence you have gathered that your project could make an impact.

Note that you don’t have to follow our theme. What you work on is up to you, as is whether (or how) to incorporate into your pitch to the judges your case for addressing one or more of those nine emotional needs or tapping in to those eight internal resources.

(Want to find a way to flesh out an idea, or to systematically generate new and potentially viable ideas? Try this post.)

Who will choose the teams?

You will. That is, it’s up to you to decide who you want to work with. We’ll help you make that decision (in a fun and fair way), and if your ideas change and develop as you interact with each other and the outside world, so much the better!

What form can our project take?

Your project could be an app, or a website, or an online space. It could be a tangible product, a range of foods, a series of events or a cafe. It could be… anything!

We’ll help you refine, test and progress your ideas, as a team, in the time you have, with the skills and resources available to you. And you’re free to “get out of the building,” whether that’s going and talking to people in Ipswich to test your ideas or ask about their experiences, or reaching out online. 


The “hackathon” style is very familiar to many in the software world, but at its core is a philosophy that says, let’s move from interesting ideas to sketches and prototypes, and let’s test our work by engaging with other people. We think that most teams will decide to use tools such as websites to showcase their ideas, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t win unless your team includes designers and coding experts. And mentors are on hand to help at every stage, so that you can bring your ideas to life