S34: The design and delivery of an online school-based mental health service for adolescents.

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By September 21, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Bridianne O, Mirjana Subotic-Kerry, Kathleen O'Moore, Catherine King, Helen Christensen

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Technology, e-health

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Mental health is a significant issue for Australian adolescents. One in five youth experiences a mental health problem yet only one in three seek formal help (1). Online school-based programs are effective for lowering depression and anxiety; however, such programs have low uptake and can be difficult to embed into the school structure (2). Utilising a stepped-care model (3), this project aimed to design and deliver an online mental health service for adolescents that was co-designed with high school students and staff and included consultation with parents, health professionals, and other relevant stakeholders to ensure its successful implementation in the school setting. A rural community in NSW, Australia, was selected for the project. Four high schools were recruited where focus groups and interviews were conducted with over 50 participants. A parent consultation evening was also held. Interviews with other stakeholders were conducted. Interview themes included: content and model of care, functionality and utility, features and interactivity, accessibility, awareness and engagement, and ethics of model including safety, privacy, confidentiality, duty of care and consent. Results will be presented and discussed alongside the future directions of this project. The implications for service design and delivery for youth mental health will also be outlined.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: A deeper knowledge and understanding of a stepped-care model for adolescent mental health and a new and innovative approach to school-based mental health care. This presentation is relevant to both clinicians and health professionals as well as other service providers as it presents a model which can be adapted for current practice or other mental health care settings.

Learning Objective 2: Current services for youth mental health are inadequate. We present an innovative solution that is evidence-based, utilises internet technology, and is implemented in the school setting. This presentation outlines a framework for designing and evaluating healthcare services, as well as some of the challenges in the youth, schools, and mental health sector.

1. Lawrence D, Johnson S, Hafekost J, Boterhoven De Haan K, Sawyer M, Ainley J, Zubrick SR (2015) The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents. Report on the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Department of Health, Canberra.
2. O’Dea B., Calear A.L., Perry Y. (2015) Is e-health the answer to gaps in adolescent mental health service delivery? Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 28 (1), 336-342.
3. Van Straten, A., Hill, J., Richards D.A., and Cuijpers, P. (2015) Stepped care treatment delivery for depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychological Medicine, 45, 231-2446.

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