Recognising that many young people are not making conscious health and wellness decisions, Generation Next founder and chairman Eron Hill said the organisation will be launching a “bespoke health and wellness awareness programme for young Bermudians” this year.
“This campaign will deliver pertinent information that can help young people live a healthier lifestyle, using methods that are palatable to young people in this rapidly evolving world of technology and social media,” he said.
Mr Hill said statistics have indicated that Bermudians are at risk of developing chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke and diabetes.
He pointed out that a study carried out by the Bermuda Department of Health in 2014 concluded that 42 per cent of Bermudians had three or more risk factors of developing a chronic disease.
These factors included being daily smokers, having low fruit and vegetable consumption, insufficient physical activity, being overweight and having raised or high blood pressure.
He also pointed out that mental health is an issue which has not been adequately addressed.
“Research reveals that about one in ten children and young people are plagued with mental health issues.
“These include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives.”
Mr Hill added that “young people are not eager to discuss these issues for understandable reasons”.
“We cannot, however, afford to overlook the importance of educating young people on their health early on, but also foster an environment where it is comfortable to discuss these matters; we owe it to the future of Bermuda.”
He said Generation Next hopes to educate young people on their health options and to also encourage them to embrace a wellness lifestyle where they make healthier choices for themselves.
“We readily believe that successful implementation of this campaign has the potential to reduce current healthcare costs and future costs as a result of young people embracing a healthier lifestyle,” he said
Generation Next will utilise a number of platforms to spread the message to youth.
“We will utilise our social media presence (in excess of 1,400 followers) in tandem with informational columns and town hall meetings to promote this campaign,” he said.
He said there are also plans to engage the medical professionals in Bermuda to contribute their time to further educate young people about nutrition, fitness, and mental health.
Mr Hill said Generation Next will also engage in a financial education campaign this year.
Mr Hill, who represented Bermuda at the Forbes Under 30 Summit 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts, said Generation Next “is committed to the goal of properly educating our youth on the importance of investments, appreciable assets, income-producing assets, common stocks, and bonds.”
“Together with our community and private-sector partners, we plan to equip our young people with the knowledge to stand atop the wealth continuum as prodigious accumulators of wealth instead of under accumulators of wealth,” Mr Hill said.
He said Generation Next also intends to host a three-day young professional’s retreat, which will be opened to young professionals from the US East-Coast and the Caribbean. This retreat will focus on networking as well as promoting international tourism exposure, he said.
Another area that Generation Next intends to focus on this year is life insurance.
“We hope to partner with a local insurance company to create a bespoke life insurance policy with a cash surrender value option for young Bermudians.
“Generation Next will use our platform to encourage young Bermudians to register for the policy as we believe that it is not only important for young people to start to learn about these options early in life, but it will also help young people save funds,” Mr Hill said.
He said there are tentative dates for these programmes; however, these will be released to the public as soon as they are finalised.