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Sophie Potter: Beyond Professionals - Young people supporting each other

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Presentation from Sophie Potter, Gail Phelps and Jordan Hammond from ReachOut.Com at the 2013 Online Youth Participation and Engagement conference run by Dialogue Consulting in Melbourne, 9 May 2013

Presentation from Sophie Potter, Gail Phelps and Jordan Hammond from ReachOut.Com at the 2013 Online Youth Participation and Engagement conference run by Dialogue Consulting in Melbourne, 9 May 2013

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  • Introduce me, mybackground. Overview of what I’ll talk about
  • Includes
  • 1992 – Jack’s cousin suicides, 1996 Inspire is born, 1998 the first version of Reach Out is launched, 2000 – 2008 Act Now, Bean Bag, Teachers Network and ReachOut Pro launched. Strategic decision made to stop running Act Now and Beanbag programs etc. 2009 – 2012 – lots of research into young men. Young mens fund developed. EY Report goes live. WorkOut Pilot launched.
  • Includes
  • Access is a primary goal of government policy in rural and regional health service improvements.The National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health recognisesthat for physical and mental health outcomes in rural, regional and remote areas to improve, there needs to be:Funding mechanisms and incentives to support the use of information communications technology in the delivery of health servicesCommunity engagement and education strategies that promote preventive health and early interventionWork with consumers and health professionals to promote understanding of how the health system works
  • Decrease stigma and increase motivation.The literature identifies key barriers to seeking help.Stigma and embarrassmentProblems recognising symptomsPreference for self-relianceConfidentiality and trustHopelessness(Gulliver, Griffiths, Christensen, 2010)
  • HOW WE HELP/WHAT WE DOHow:Re-iterate that other people have gone through similar experiencesSuggest readingstories about what others have been through, + what helpedGet them to browse through the tough times andwellbeing sections for relevant fact sheets / storiesShow them the ReachOut.com forums, and the threads on sharing tips / strategiesAsk them to explore the site, and to report back
  • ReachOut aims to prevent and delay onset of mental health disorders, andreduce their incidence and their severity, duration, frequencyReachOut.com is particularly focused on mental health quality of life and and global quality of life. The mental health promotion and intervention spectrumThe spectrum identifies 5 types of program focus areas: (promotion, prevention, early intervention, treatment and continuing care) that can be delivered across 8 audience segments - ranging from universal through to young people in long term treatment or care.By virtue of the open-access nature of the service, ReachOut.com engages young people across the spectrum. Specifically however, ReachOut.com targets 3 areas of the Spectrum:Mental Health Promotion and Universal Prevention;Selective and Indicated Prevention; andEarly intervention.
  • Particularly, ReachOut.com targets protective factors that reduce or ameliorate the risk of developing mental health difficulties, and assists young people to understand and use self-help and formal help to address emerging mental health difficulties.Some of the protective factors we target:A sense of belongingAdaptive coping strategiesCommunication skillsMental health literacyHelp-seeking behaviourProblem solving skillsResilienceSelf-efficacy
  • The universal audience… includes all young people in the general population with no identification for those at risk of mental health disorders.For this audience ReachOut.comaims to prevent mental illness, and improve or maintain quality of life and wellbeing.
  • Selective and indicated… includes young people who are at risk of mental health disorders because they belong to specific population sub groups that are known to have increased risk (family history, sexuality and gender diverse young people, young carers etc); andThose experiencing tough times due to transient or ongoing life stressors.For this audience ReachOut.comaims to decrease psychological distress and increase resilience
  • The early intervention audience… specifically targets young people experiencing early signs and symptoms of a mental health disorder, with a specific emphasis on those not seeking help.For this audience ReachOut.comaims to intercept the progression of illness, decrease the severity and duration of mental illness, ideally resulting in recovery
  • Transcript

    • 1. BeyondProfessionalsYoungpeoplesupportingeachotherSophie Potter Community ManagerGail Phelps Peer ModeratorJordan Hammond Peer ModeratorOnline Youth Engagement andParticipation Conference: 9th May 2013
    • 2. OurmissionTohelpyoungpeopleleadhappierlives
    • 3. 1992 199819962000 - 2008Inspire Foundation19972009 - 2012
    • 4. 15yearsof
    • 5. It‟s always been about young peoplehelping themselves…
    • 6. 1998
    • 7. 1999
    • 8. 2001
    • 9. 2006
    • 10. 2009
    • 11. 2009
    • 12. Butin2010,wetookalong,hardlookatwhichyoung peoplewewantedtofocuson,andhowweneededtopositionourselvestoachievethis.
    • 13. Soweinvitedover100young peopletomeetour“users”,mapouttheirneeds,andhelpusredesigntheservice…
    • 14. And we ended up with…Guidingprinciples:Focus on the benefits to me and my friends; Berelevant to me and my life; Reach out to me in places where I am –both online & offlineUserexperiencegoals:RO helps me understand my experience; ROgives me a range of actionable help options; RO shows me results; ROconnects me to others; RO helps me help others; RO gives me a rangeof options to get involvedBrandValues:Authentic; Trustworthy; Positive; Encouraging; Friendly;InclusiveDesignPrinciples:clean and simple; quick and easy; flexibility ininformation delivery; flexibility in engagement; creative; consistencyUserbenefits:Accepted; Confident; Happy; Reassured; Hopeful;Relieved; Motivated; Better than before; More aware of myselfBrandvoice:ReachOut is a 25 year old male. Hes a good friend and acasual expert. Hes easy to understand; Friendly; Honest; Not pushy;Optimistic; Respectful; Empathetic; Fun
    • 15. Suicideratesaren‟tacceleratingliketheyoncewere,butthementalhealthsystemstillstrugglestomeettheneedsofyoungpeople
    • 16. The policy context“Areal challenge exists withour mental health servicesat the moment. Theyre not easily accessible and wedont have enough professionals, particularly inourregional, rural, remote communities. Technologiesprovide us withaway of connecting anyone anywherewithaperson whocan help them.”AssocProfJaneBurnsCEOYoungandWellCooperativeResearchCentre(2012)
    • 17. How can we bridge the gap?• Reducetheburdenonlimitedservices• Extendaccessibilityofmentalhealthservices• Improveunderstandingofmentalhealthdifficulties• Decreasestigmaandimprovemotivationtoaccessservices“Because you cant see it, its notreal. Unless Im in physical pain,theres no reason to go seek help.”- ReachOut.com focus group participant
    • 18. ReachOut.com is:Anonlinementalhealthcommunitywhereyoungpeoplecanconnect,growandthriveAccessible24/7,wherevertheyneedit
    • 19. ReachOut.comtargets…1. Mental Health Promotion and Universal Prevention;2. Selective and Indicated Prevention; and3. Early intervention.The theory bit
    • 20. Protectivefactors,suchas:• Sense of belonging• Adaptive coping strategies• Help-seeking behaviour• Mental health literacy
    • 21. How we help: Universal audiencethathelpyoungpeopleconnecttheirexperiencestothoseofothersPersonal storiesthatprovideinformationandknowledgeneededtopositivelymanagewellbeingArticles + factsheetsthatshareandbuildknowledge/skillsforbuilding+managingwellbeingConversationswhereyoungpeopleparticipateincampaignsandrelatedactivitiesthatraiseawareness+increaseunderstandingaboutmentalhealthCampaigns +participation
    • 22. How we help: Selected / indicated audiencesthathelpyoungpeoplerecognisetheirproblem+increasetheirunderstandingPersonal stories +fact sheetsthatincreasepositiveattitudestowardshelp-seekingandthebeliefthattimely/appropriatesupportcanbeeffectiveStoriesthatincreasesparticipationinapositivesocialsupportnetwork,leadingtoimprovedselfesteemandresilienceCommunityparticipationthathelpsyoungpeopleincreaseselfawareness,selfmonitoringandproblemsolvingskills
    • 23. How we help: Early interventionthathelpyoungpeoplerecognisesymptoms+provideactionablehelpPersonal stories +fact sheetsthatincreasepositiveattitudestowardshelp-seekingandthebeliefthattimely/appropriatesupportcanbeeffectiveStoriesthatconnectyoungpeoplewithasocialsupportnetwork+linkyoungpeopleseekinghelptoinformationandservicesOnline forums
    • 24. Weknowthisbecause…ReachOut.comhelps
    • 25. 1.4millionuniquevisitorstoReachOut.comin2011/2012,&664,332engagedusers=27%increaseontheprevious yearAlmost50%ofyoungpeopleweinteractwithonsocialchannelsareyoungmen,thosewhoneedusmost.50%ofthesevisitstakeplaceafter5pmandbefore9am77%ofyoungpeoplewhouseReachOut.comregisterhighorveryhighlevelsofpsychologicaldistress.75%ofyoungpeoplewhousedReachOut.comin2011reportedthatithelpedthemtobetterunderstandmentalhealthissuesNearlyhalf(46%)saidithelpedthem„quiteabit‟or„alot‟toaskaprofessionalforhelp.
    • 26. Where we are:*ReachOut.comCommunityforumsSocial media• Flagship service• 14-25 years• 1.4 million uniquevisitors (2011/12)• Facts sheets,personal stories,tools, tips, peersupport• Topics fromwellbeing totough times• Component ofReachOut.com• 1255 activemembers• Anonymous andprivate• Peer support• Discussionsrange fromwellbeing totough times• 17,396 facebookfollowers• 5581 twitterfollowers• 276 YouTubesubscribers(149k views)• Focus onwellbeing andengagement
    • 27. IT‟SRISKY!!!!!These conversationsare happening withor without us.For us, thebiggest riskis not beingthere.
    • 28. Online forums and risk management• Anonymity and privacy• Peer-to-peer support• Clear boundaries re. extent of service• (Post) moderation by youth moderatorsand professionals• Three risk management strategies:• Technical• Self-moderation• Staff moderation
    • 29. Community risk management strategiesTECHNICAL• Register/sign to post• Member accounts display noperson info• Automatic ”alert words orphrases” notifications• Clear announcements aroundextent of serviceSELF MODERATION• Community guidelines – outlinepositive behaviours and extentof service• Culture• Feedback from moderators ifguidelines breached• Reporting function for forumusersPEER/PRO MODs• Trained peer moderators modelpositive behaviours• proactively hide or reportProfessional moderators respondto distressed young people ordifficult content• Sensitive discussions/topicsfacilitated by youth workers ormental health professionals• Clear escalation procedures
    • 30. Governance/Risk Management StructuresPeer & Pro ModsStaff ModeratorsSupport GroupClinical AdvisoryGroupCEO
    • 31. YouthModeratorsReachOut.com
    • 32. Who are youth moderators, anyway?• Currently 16 youthmoderators acrossAustralia• All from differentbackgrounds• All with a desire tocontribute to the youthmental health community• Each volunteers twohours per week
    • 33. So, what do youth moderatorsactually do?• Contribute to the forums• Listen to users• Moderate content and manage risk• Maintain a positive help seeking culture
    • 34. But how does having youthmoderators actually help?• Promotes individual experience, but a sharedunderstanding of that experience• Places young people as the experts• Provides peer based empathy and support• Generates positive and constructiveconversations
    • 35. How do youth moderatorspromote healthy help seeking?• By providing examples of their own helpseeking behaviours• Using empathy and support to encourageand promote the importance of help seeking• Providing links to relevant and trustworthyinformation• Being community role models
    • 36. Youth Involvement (YI) at Inspire• From the beginning, young people were atthe centre of everything Inspire does• Youth mods are part of a wider YI program• 120 people: RO Film Crew, Youth EditorialBoard, ROMP, RO Speakers Bureau etc• Private online community forum for allinvolved with our YI programs
    • 37. Cool stuff that‟s happened!- RUOK? Day- LIFE Awards- ACARA consult- 315 YP- Mark Butler MP,Minister for MentalHealth- Two consultations- Second: 260replies over 90,000and 15,000- First: let’s watch
    • 38. Young people tell us“I never thought that a silly postabout my feelings on an internetforum could end up being the startto a new change. I have realized thatI can recover from this and I thankyou so much for pushing me in theright direction.I feel that I will get through this.”“Veronica”, 19yo, 15th March 2013

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