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It Only Takes One Call, Click, or Swipe to Save a Life

Across the world, digital crisis services are becoming more common for saving lives in real-time, digital services not only have the power to connect health providers to one another, but also community members to each other. The #GenH challenge is waiting for your big idea!

“Trevor Lifeline. What’s going on?” It’s the sound of a comforting voice on the other end of the phone line… or the text: “How can I support you today?” that can de-escalate a volatile situation of an LGBTQ young person. It’s the type of support that is becoming more common with online therapy such as TalkSpace, BreakThrough, or BetterHelp. But, what’s unique about a local health leader Johnson & Johnson has supported in the past, The Trevor Project, is that it’s specifically serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning community through a 24-hour phone line, chat, text, and an online social website, often with the support of LGBTQ counselors.

It's a technology that puts people first, starting with just one phone line in 1998. Oscar winning filmmakers Peggy Rajski, James Lecesne, and Randy Stone founded the crisis line for LGBTQ youth in the United States, based on a concern raised in their Academy Award-winning short fiction film, Trevor about a young gay boy named Trevor who died by suicide. Knowing the stigma that can come with "outing" yourself, the film asked a simple question: how could they help more youth like Trevor receive the services, support, and information they need? From a deeply human need arose a novel tech solution, and since then, hundreds of thousands of youth have reached out to the 24-hour crisis line, TrevorChat and TrevorText. By leveraging tech for human wellness, youth receive support, find community, and connect to other LGBTQ youth via the online platform. From The Trevor Project’s crisis services to social media platforms, the Project’s technology puts youth first, applying the fundamentals of human-centered design to reach and engage youth, living their mantra, “We HEAR you. We’re HERE for you.”

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Handwashing: An Idea That Saved Lives And Landed A Doctor In An Institution

Handwashing – a public health staple? Think again. How one doctor risked it all for a healthier generation, #GenH.

Handwashing. It’s taught in homes, schools, and medical facilities around the world. The image of doctors scrubbing their hands before surgery is almost as universal as a healthcare professional wearing a stethoscope. Unfortunately, this life-saving idea was once so controversial it helped land a prominent doctor in a mental asylum.

In 1847, a 29-year old doctor, Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis, worked as an assistant to the professor of the maternity clinic in Vienna General Hospital in Austria. The maternity clinic was going through a crisis. The women giving birth in the section of the hospital staffed by certified doctors were dying five times more frequently than those giving birth in the ward staffed by midwives (by some estimates nearly a third of the doctors’ patients were dying). The deaths were caused by peurperal fever, more commonly known as childbed fever. The newly hired Semmelweis tackled this problem through observation on the front lines, and experimentation with new ideas for this enduring challenge.

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The most powerful change-maker in human history: The simple idea

Johnson & Johnson is proud to open the GenH Challenge submission period – and we need you to share your everyday idea to create the healthiest generation – “GenH.” Apply today at www.genhchallenge.com.

The world changes every day. These changes can be small, like a new job or new home; or they can be huge, like the development of a new vaccine or the globalization of Facebook. In an age dominated by massive technological changes reshaping everything from our global community to our understanding of our DNA, it can be hard to remember that the most powerful change-maker throughout history has been simple ideas.

Everyday ideas have reshaped our planet since before recorded history. In prehistoric times innovative members of early human ancestors perceived the world around them slightly differently than everyone before them. This skill led to the first use of a stone as a simple tool. It gave rise to the concept of cultivating wild oats rather than constant nomadic foraging. In some time before recorded history, this ability to see things from a new angle even gave rise to the wheel.

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