940 elaine geraghty


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  • Who we are: Why it makes sense to introduce a service such as this to Ireland
  • Internet Usage and seeking health information online in Ireland – HRB Reseach
  • Red C Survey 2010
  • Much activity around social aspects –browsing postings, posting messages, online chat and making social plans
  • Irish teenagers above average at reading, understanding and applying digital texts, including e mails and websites Rank 7 out of 16 OECD states (contrast that to poor performance of Irish students in traditional paper-based literacy tests published by OECD last year)
  • 23% access the internet using ‘handheld device’ – meaning gaming e.g. Nintendo DS – almost twice the European average. 24% network profile shows incorrect age – higher than UK and the European average of 16%
  • So we know that young people in Ireland spend time online. We know that they are willing to use the internet for many activities – including getting information around their health/mental health
  • Communities come in all shapes and sizes these days. There is a distinct community online It is how we communicate with that community that matters
  • We know what the issues are that matter to young people and how to measure their behaviour Improving mental health literacy – taking the mystery out of mental health
  • Best way to support a friend as well as yourself
  • The importance of being able to experience other young people’s experiences. Real experiences and success stories – it is possible to get through a tough time
  • A number of Ambassadors. Ability rhrough technology to upload Q&A quickly
  • Different function to the site
  • So how are we doing ?
  • Clinical Advisors
  • Mirrors general type of support Everything from sitting having a cup of tea with someone, a friend all the way through to psyciatrc support
  • 940 elaine geraghty

    1. 1. Using the Internet to Reach Out to Young People Elaine Geraghty CEO
    2. 3. ReachOut.com Story
    3. 4. Young people in Ireland and the Internet <ul><li>87.4% of 16-24 year olds accessed the internet in 2008. 1 </li></ul><ul><li>81% of Irish young people have said they use or are willing to use the internet for mental health advice . 2 </li></ul><ul><li>1 CSO Information Society and Telecommunications 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>2 Internet use and seeking health information online in Ireland: Demographic characteristics and mental health characteristics of users and non-users - HRB Research Series 4 </li></ul>Why ReachOut.com?
    4. 5. Why According to the Central Statistics Office (CS0), there were 527 recorded deaths by suicide in Ireland in 2009, up from 424 the previous year.  The main increase in suicides was amongst the 25 to 44 age group.  * 6 out of 10 young people in Ireland would not seek help from a mental health professional if they had problems, ** 8 1% said they would, or already do, go online to get mental health information. *** * CSO ‘Vital Statistics, 4 th Quarter and Yearly Summary 2009’ (Published June 2010) ** Unpublished Data from Headstrong’s ‘My World’ survey 2009 *** Internet use and seeking health information online in Ireland: demographic characteristics of users and non users, Health Research Board Series 4, 2008
    5. 6. Younger demographic 18-34 are biggest users with over 90% online
    6. 7. What are Irish people doing online??
    7. 9. Internet and young people
    8. 10. <ul><li>The online service to help young people get through tough times </li></ul><ul><li>Mission </li></ul><ul><li>” To take the mystery out of mental health by reaching young people with reliable, positive information and guidance on getting through tough times.” </li></ul>
    9. 11. ReachOut.com theory of change Improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people / reduce suicidal behaviour Activities Goals Outcomes Facilitate help-seeking and help-getting Increase mental health literacy Quality mental health information Increase resilience and foster peer support
    10. 12. Community <ul><li>“ Community is that place where we feel a sense of belonging. Within our community, we experience our lives as having meaning. Being part of this group makes us feel we are part of something greater than ourselves. Without them, we feel painfully isolated; with them, we sense that we can achieve something greater than any one of us could on our own” </li></ul><ul><li>Tony Bates (Irish Times, September 13, 2011) </li></ul>
    11. 19. Facebook as a communication tool
    12. 21. A few numbers… 3000 weekly visits to ReachOut.com 3, 500 facebook fans @ September 2011 678 Twitter follows 80 Youth Advisors 11 Youth Ambassadors
    13. 22. Community Partnerships <ul><ul><li>Our community engagement strategy sees us integrating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>with existing community organisations that deal with young </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>people on a day to day basis. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ReachOut.com has partnered with national sporting, third </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>level and youth services to reach young people in their own </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>environment, an environment that they trust. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This presence helps to create a view of mental health as an </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>everyday issue that matters to everyone </li></ul></ul>
    14. 25. Kings of Concrete 2010 - July
    15. 26. A few numbers… 3 Celebrity Ambassadors Maser, Dublin graffiti artist Bernard Brogan, GAA star Laura Whitmore MTV presenter
    16. 27. What’s on ReachOut.com:
    17. 28. <ul><li>“ Im 18 and i suffer with anxiety and depression. I thought i had gotten over it but it receantly came back. I get it because I am afraid of ‘becoming an adult’ and going 2 college. It may sound silly but Ive realized how easy it is for death to occur. The thought of death scares me alot and has alot 2 do with my anxiety. I was wondering if any of you other people had similer experience? Thank You”. </li></ul>
    18. 29. “… ..On another note, I wanted to give you some personal feedback on the new website.  My brother in law became very depressed late last night.  He told his estranged wife to say goodbye to their son for him and she, suspecting he meant to harm himself, got in touch with my husband.  We looked up ReachOut.com and followed the advice on how to talk to someone in that position and managed to persuade him to come to A&E and to get help.  He's now on anti-depressants and recovering and we were very grateful to have such an excellent resource to turn to at a difficult time so please do continue to keep up the good work”. September 2011
    19. 32. Learning to reach out: Young people, mental health literacy and the Internet <ul><li>Internet and mental health </li></ul><ul><li>Focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>User profile survey </li></ul>
    20. 33. Internet and mental health: Types of online supports <ul><li>Peer-to-peer support </li></ul>Information-based resources Online therapy
    21. 34. Focus group quotes <ul><li>Conversation is reactive (not proactive) </li></ul><ul><li>“ you might hear about it (mental health) when it’s already happened, when someone has committed suicide...as opposed to the prevention side of things”. </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of listening </li></ul><ul><li>“ I had about 3 or 4 days when I just didn’t want to talk to anyone, </li></ul><ul><li>(I was) just sitting on my own, but when someone did actually come and talk to me I was talking and they were just listening, it made me feel a lot better”. </li></ul><ul><li>Being user-friendly </li></ul><ul><li>“ if I thought I had a mental health problem I’d probably just go online”. </li></ul>
    22. 35. Mental health literacy – by gender Strong evidence of gender differences (p = 0.04)
    23. 36. Recognition of problems There was strong evidence of recognition variance (p = >0.001)
    24. 37. User-profile survey <ul><li>Ethical approval, University College Cork </li></ul><ul><li>523 respondents </li></ul><ul><li>30-item questionnaire </li></ul>
    25. 38. User-profile survey - gender This compares favourably with the Australian ReachOut.com which attracts a high proportion of females (76%)
    26. 39. Rate your understanding of: 65% have (v.)good / excellent understanding of how to help a friend
    27. 40. How likely are you to look for help from the following to get through a tough time? Help-seeking preferences
    28. 41. Previous help-seeking behaviour Have you ever spoken with any of the following to get help through a tough time? 41% of those who had seen a health professional were unlikely / very unlikely to seek help from a professional again
    29. 42. Psychological distress – among visitors to ReachOut.com Based on Ronald Kessler’s scale known as the ‘K-10’, n = 137 Nearly 2/3 of respondents scored moderate or severe on the K-10
    30. 43. Stigma - attitudes to mental health?
    31. 44. Views about ReachOut.com
    32. 45. Conclusion <ul><li>Online supports are wide-ranging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information / peer-to-peer / online therapy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Attitudes to mental health are good / knowledge and willingness to access services is poor </li></ul><ul><li>ReachOut.com is attracting high levels of psychological distress </li></ul><ul><li>Services must work together to support youth mental health need </li></ul>
    33. 47. <ul><li>We must recognise that </li></ul><ul><li>Young people spend time online </li></ul><ul><li>Unhelpful sites exist and aren’t going away </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ignore the problem – PROVIDE A SOLUTION </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide accurate, SAFE and trusted information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t further isolate young people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be in the spaces they inhabit </li></ul></ul>