Authors: Rhianon Vichta, Brian Collyer, Karleen Gwinner
Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference
Subject: What would we use and how would we use it? Can innovative digital technology promote wellbeing and therapeutic engagement with highly vulnerable and disadvantaged young people?
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Putting therapeutic tools for wellbeing directly into the hands of vulnerable young people, on their phones and devices, seems to make good sense. There are a great number of apps and websites which provide guidance and strategies for enhancing wellbeing, including some designed to appeal to young people dealing with a range of mental health and other life challenges. Still, can innovative use of digital technologies enhance therapeutic engagement and outcomes with highly transient and vulnerable young people? Will young people with highly complex needs use apps to help to build their own wellbeing outside of the therapeutic space? There is evidence that online tools can improve well-being for adults (Antezana et al., 2015) and suggestions that the benefits of digital engagement may extend beyond social networking for young people (Clarke, Kuosmanen & Barry, 2015). This presentation shares key learning emerging from youth consultation and creative workshops focussed on how young people who have multiple support needs view the use of online tools to both strengthen connection to support and build their wellbeing.
Learning Objective 1: Increased awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of potential use of digital tools which address young people’s priorities for wellbeing
Learning Objective 2: Increased capacity for learning about, and using, technological innovation in responding to the needs of highly vulnerable and disadvantaged young people who are managing a range of co-occurring life challenges, including mental health issues.
Antezana, G., Bidargaddi, N., Blake, V., Schrader, G., Kaambwa, B., Quinn, S., Battersby, M. (2015). Development of an Online Well-Being Intervention for Young People: An Evaluation Protocol. JMIR Research Protocols, 4(2), e48.
Clarke, A.M., Kuosmanen, T. & Barry, M.M. (2015). A Systematic Review of Online Youth Mental Health Promotion and Prevention Interventions. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44(1), 90-110.