Up to 25% of young people in Denmark report different levels of failure to thrive and research among adolescents show an increasing level of mental ill-health. Concurrent, less than half of young people with mental health problems seek professional help. Major barriers to help-seeking include lack of recognition of mental health problems and low mental health literacy, fear of judgement or stigma, and navigating existing mental health services.
Mindhelper.dk is a multicomponent, unstructured digital mental health promotion service for Danish young people offering self-help information. Mindhelper.dk allows young people to navigate and select information and support that may be relevant to them from a wide variety of topics. Mindhelper provide practical help strategies and tools to support wellbeing and help-seeking from everyday stressors to more complex mental health issues. The service is freely available and disseminated across the country since January 2019.
The feasibility study investigates the potential of online recruitment through social media for a randomized trial of the effectiveness of Mindhelper. In other words, whether it is possible to recruit to an intervention group and control group, respectively.
Through advertising on Facebook and Instagram, young adolescents and young adults aged 15-25 are recruited to answer two questionnaires at one-week intervals. The target group ais divided into an intervention group and a control group. The questionnaires are comprised of questions regarding digital behavior and mental health, which are measured using following scales: WHO-5 Well-being index, Short Warwick-Edinburgh mental well-being scale (SWEMWBS), General Help-seeking Questionnaire vignette version (GHSQ-V) in an adjusted version.
Furthermore, the respondents of the baseline questionnaire are invited to share their web history during the study period with the Mindhelper project team. The goal is to create a quality check on whether the adolescents remember if they have visited Mindhelper.dk.
The project period runs from September 2020 to February 2021. Results from the feasibility study will be published in a peer reviewed journal. The article will be submitted in 2021.
The project is a partnership between researchers from the National Institute of Public Health, SDU and the Mindhelper team from Centre for Telepsychiatry in the Mental Health Services in the Region of Southern Denmark. The feasibility study is funded by TrygFonden.