Authors: Steph Kershaw
Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Community Evaluation of Cracks in the Ice – an online toolkit developed to support Australian families, health workers and communities affected by the drug “ice”.
Type of resource: Audio
Steph is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use. Steph manages Cracks in the Ice; an Australian Government Department of Health funded project disseminating information about crystal methamphetamine in Australia via an online toolkit and mobile app.
Background: The Cracks in the Ice online toolkit (CITI, www.cracksintheice.org.au) was developed as part of a national response to crystal methamphetamine (“ice”) in Australia. CITI aims to help families, health workers, and communities better respond to people affected by ice and has reached >200K website users since its launch in Apr-17. To evaluate whether CITI is meeting the needs of the Australian community, a national online survey of > 2K people was conducted.
Methodology: The survey was conducted among Australian residents aged 18 years and over, including people who use ice, family, friends, health workers, and general community members. Participants were recruited via advertisements on the CITI website, email direct marketing, and social media. The survey took approximately 10-30 minutes and assessed participants’ knowledge and attitudes about ice as well as their perceptions of CITI (e.g. usability, navigation, utility).
Results: The survey ran from Nov-18 to Mar-19. Key findings from the study will be reported at the conference.
Conclusion: Digital information initiatives like CITI stand to overcome structural, geographical, and attitudinal barriers to AOD prevention. Community evaluations ensure these initiatives meet the needs of their end-users. The current presentation will be of interest to services, researchers and the general community.
Learning Objective 1: The audience will learn about methods of running a community evaluation of an online resource. Some audience members may also walk away with general learnings from the CITI evaluation survey that can be applied to their own digital health projects. Members of the audience who are not yet familiar with CITI will also be introduced to a national online resource that may be relevant to them, their colleagues and clients.
Learning Objective 2: People experiencing problems with ice often also experience comorbid mental health problems and are likely to seek assistance from both AOD and mental health services. CITI is a useful resource for mental health workers, providing trusted, up-to-date, evidence-based information and resources about ice for them and their clients. The CITI evaluation survey will be particularly relevant to mental health services and organisations interested in conducting evaluations of digital mental health initiatives.