Using technology to support young people’s mental health needs // PROJECT COMPLETED
This research will work with health professionals, youth workers, teachers and parents in order to better understand the existing knowledge of youth mental health and the use of technology among these adult ‘gatekeepers’. In turn, an online training program will be developed to increase mental health literacy and digital literacy among adults who can support young people’s mental health needs.
The objective of this research is to facilitate the promotion of positive mental health, help-seeking and help-getting by addressing the ‘digital disconnect’ between young people and those adults best placed to support young people in relation to their respective perceptions and use of technology in everyday life.
A qualitative approach involving in-depth focus group interviews is the most appropriate method to learn about existing capacity and perceived learning need among adult gatekeepers. Other methods to be employed include purposive sampling, data collection, transcription and review, and whole group thematic analysis.
Young people will be represented on the Project Advisory Group, recruited through the ReachOut.com Ireland Youth Advisory Network. The online training resource developed for the adult gatekeeper groups will be tested with focus groups of young people recruited through the organisations involved as research partners.
The online training program will involve members of the Youth Advisory Network who will guide trainees through a series of modules covering youth mental health literacy and online communications skills.
Young people will be directly involved in the evaluation of efficacy in the research to determine whether there is an improvement among them in their sense of being supported by the adults they work with and engage on a daily basis.
Chambers D and Murphy F. Learning to Reach Out: Young people, mental health literacy and the Internet. Inspire Ireland Foundation, Dublin 2011. Available at: http://www.inspireireland.ie/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Learning_to_reach_out.pdf
Director of Programmes and Policy
Project Duration:3 Years
Bridging the Digital Disconnect