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Using technologies to promote young people’s wellbeing: a better practice guide for services. Fiona Robards, NSW Kids and Families, NSW Health


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Using technologies to promote young people’s wellbeing: a better practice guide for services. Fiona Robards, NSW Kids and Families, NSW Health

  1. 1. OCTOBER 2013 Using technologies safely and effectively to promote young people’s wellbeing: A better practice guide for services Fiona Robards, Senior Analyst, Youth Health and Wellbeing, NSW Kids and Families,
  2. 2. The Challenge The numbers The cost • Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people aged 15 to 24 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009) $17.5bn • In an average Year 12 classroom, 1 young person has attempted suicide (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2007) • Mental disorders affect 1 in 4 young Australians (Slade, 2009) suicide (ConNetica Consulting, 2009) $10.6bn mental illness (Access Economics, 2009) The need 75% of mental illness emerges before age 25 $20.5bn reduced wellbeing (Access Economics, 2009) (Kessler, 2005) 80% males and 70% females aged 16 to 24 with mental disorders do not seek help (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008, National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007. Cat No 4326.0) 95% of young people are online daily (Ewing, Thomas & Schiessl, 2008; Burns et al., 2010) 2
  3. 3. The technology opportunity 95% of young people are online every day 1 3.9m Australians aged 14+ went online via their mobile in June 2011 2 90% of young people aged 12 to 17 use social media 3 8.6m Australians aged 14+ accessed social networking sites from home in June 2011 4 1 Ewing, Thomas, Schiessl, 2008; Burns et al., 2010 2 Communications Report 2010-11 Series Report 3, ACMA, 2011: page 1 3 ACMA, 2008 4 Communications Report 2010-11 Series Report 3, ACMA, 2011: page 25
  4. 4. Project goal Enable services to use technology to effectively engage young people and promote access to services: • by developing the capacity of the sector • and providing an evidence base for unlocking structural barriers
  5. 5. Target audience • • • • • • Service providers and organisations Service managers IT Departments Policy makers Associations Students
  6. 6. Research questions • What technology and functions exist that appeal to • • • • young people? How is technology already being used by young people and health providers? What best practice examples exist? What are the learning outcomes from current practice? What does the research tell us?
  7. 7. Project process • • • • • • • Young and Well CRC workshop with end users Students researching material Partnership with Prometheus, University of Sydney Reference group project meetings Feedback on draft Approval of content and design Publications: wiki and printed resource
  8. 8. Content overview Better Practice Guide chapters: 1. Why this document is important 2. Engaging young people 3. Direct communication 4. Therapy 5. Research and evaluation 6. Online safety 7. Young people’s views
  9. 9. Evidence (example) SMS Early evidence strongly suggests that SMS appointment reminders are useful for improving appointment attendance for disadvantaged young people who frequently fail to attend appointments at health services (Furber et al. 2010). SMS messages can aid recall of appointments, improve continuity of care, allow appointments to be rescheduled if necessary, and are particularly useful in improving appointment attendance for young men – especially those under 18 years of age. They have also been proven effective for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (O’Mara et al. 2010).
  10. 10. Case study (example) SMS appointment reminders Furber and colleagues (2010), audited the number of text (SMS) messages sent and received over a seven month period between a youth mental health outreach service centre and its clients. More than 75 percent of the text messages were about appointment scheduling. The study also looked into the inappropriate use of SMS between young people and the service centre, which resulted in only two percent of the SMS traffic being classified as inappropriate use. The study concluded that the centre’s experience of using SMS with their clients promoted greater access to a therapist or support officer by improving engagement and retention of clients.
  11. 11. Better practice tips (example) SMS - Putting it into practice • Most client and business software for health services include automated SMS to clients for bookings and cancellations. • Texts are especially useful for appointment reminders as well as for mood monitoring and medication reminders. • Young people may be able to receive but not send messages if they are out of credit so mobile phone calls to the client as a secondary reminder may be necessary. • Think about ways you can record the content of text messages in client files.
  12. 12. Wiki built by HelloMedical Printed copies: NSW Better Health Centre phone: 02 9887 5450 email: Thanks to the project partners NSW Centre for the Advancement of Adolescent Health (now NSW Kids and Families) with: • Young people from the NSW Youth Advisory Council • Young people from the Young and Well CRC Youth Brains Trust • NSW Youth Health Services • Inspire Foundation • Prometheus Research Group, University of Sydney • Australian Medicare Local Alliance (AMLA) • Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) • National Children’s and Youth Law Centre (NCYLC) • headspace • Orygen Youth Health • Youth Focus • Principals Australia Institute • Edith Cowan University