Rasha al Qahtani, an 18-year-old Saudi Arabian girl, has created a technique that can be used to detect generalised anxiety disorder in adolescents using video games.

“I tried to heal myself, by myself, almost all of the time,” she says. “In Saudi Arabia, we are starting now to connect the dots and to raise awareness about mental health. Going to a psychologist does still have a negative effect on a person in society,” she said while talking to Smithsonian Magazine.

Qahtani came in third place in the behavioural and social sciences category of the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair for her prototype, which was inspired by her personal experience and as a means of helping her peers who are struggling with anxiety.


Her prototype tries to address the issues of stigma and inaccessibility that, according to psychologists, are significant barriers to youth seeking mental health treatment.