App trial seeks teens for study to prevent depression by building healthy relationships
Published: 7 November, 2018
Black Dog Institute is seeking 12 to 16-year-olds to participate in a study examining whether newly developed mobile phone app, WeClick, will help prevent depression and anxiety in adolescents.
Developed by the Black Dog Institute and led by Dr Bridianne O’Dea, Research Fellow at the Black Dog Institute, WeClick will aim to develop positive coping skills and strategies to help young people deal with relationships.
Designed as an engaging and accessible tool that incorporates evidence-based therapies, WeClick features stories that highlight different relationship scenarios, and guides users through activities to build their skills, knowledge and resilience in responding and dealing with different relationship issues.
“Having trouble in relationships can be an early sign of mental health problems in young people,” said Dr O’Dea.
“We’re really excited to trial WeClick, as the app has the potential to prevent and resolve mental health problems in adolescents, such as anxiety and depression."
A 2015 report showed that 1 in 5 young people aged 11-17 have high or very high levels of psychological distress and 4 in 5 young people aged 13-17 reported needing help with emotional and behavioural problems. This study by Black Dog Institute will aim to reduce these numbers by utilising cognitive behavioural techniques and strategies for relationships which may help to prevent the onset of mood disorders.
“Cognitive behavioural therapy has been shown to prevent the onset and mitigate the effects of mood disorders in people of all age groups, so it was really important to ensure WeClick was based on this approach. The strategies learned can be employed, not only in adolescence, but also into adulthood,” said Dr O’Dea.
Participants in the study will undertake three online surveys over three months, answering questions about themselves, their relationships and how they have been feeling.
Applications are now open to take part in the study, and must meet the following criteria:
- Aged 12 to 16 years
- Living in Australia
- Fluent in English
- Have a valid email address
- Use a smartphone (Android or iPhone)
- Have internet access
- Can obtain signed permission from one of their parents or guardians.
Participants will receive a $15 e-voucher for each survey completed.
Interested participants can visit here to learn more information and take part.
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