Otago Uni research team on mission to support wellbeing of Kiwi youth – online
I’m Jess, writing on behalf of i-well research team, Injury Prevention Research Unit at the University of Otago.
Our mission is to improve the well-being of our young people! We are going about doing this a couple of ways.
In New Zealand, up to 25% of our adolescents experience problems with their mental health and well-being, the most common – depression. About 1 in 7 young people will experience serious depression in the next twelve months. This will affect their moods and behaviours, relationships, their physical health and school functioning. If signs of depression are caught early, depression can be treated and managed effectively.
One way that we can help, is by providing young people with access to good mental health information and support using today’s technology, the internet.
At the University of Otago we are conducting a pilot study with young people in Otago aged 14 to 18 years, their parents, and school counsellors to find out how they feel about using online psychological therapy programmes to help improve mental health and well-being. And where else better than to conduct such as study than the internet! By taking part in the study, students can learn information and techniques to help manage your day-to-day stress and well-being. The students are given access to either:
A Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Programme, related to feelings, thoughts and relationships. These modules include exercises, questionnaires and an interactive game. This programme focuses on the development of problem solving and coping skills.
Information Programme, participants are provided with information on depression – its symptoms, sources of help, medical, psychological and alternative/ lifestyle treatments and prevention.
We’ve also created a Facebook page through which we are sharing interesting and helpful content around mental health and well-being – we invite you to join us online https://www.facebook.com/IWellStudyUniversityOfOtago.
The i-well study is part of a larger programme of research on internet-based therapeutic programs to improve mental health and well-being that is being conducted by the Injury Prevention Research Unit, University of Otago. This study is funded by the Health Research Council and is conducted in collaboration with the The Black Dog Institute, Sydney, Australia and the Australian National University.
Thank you to Happyzine for sharing our research!