Suite of apps that gather experiences for mental health service users
Mental health is about how we think, feel, and behave. Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems. They are often a reaction to challenging life events such as bereavement but can also be caused by work-related issues. Mental health issues and addiction are becoming increasingly prevalent, with 1/5th of Canadians experiencing them.
Currently, people go to therapists and service providers to understand how they can live and thrive with their mental illness. However, this is on an appointment basis, and people do not always have access to these services.
McMaster researchers have developed a suite of apps that gathers experiences of mental health service users (youth aged 16 – 25 years old), family/caregivers and service providers following each appointment. Most questions are geared towards experiences and use a combination of an emoji-based scale and open-ended boxes.
There is a brief intake survey to orient youth to the app, followed by a post-appointment questionnaire. There is also a calendar function in the youth app where youth can enter upcoming appointments and a journal where youth can document their experiences.
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- The app is available 24-7 for youth to use in their mental health journey
- Questions about whether youth met with the provider as planned/met with another provider and associated feelings; feelings upon arrival, feelings about the provider, feeling about information sharing; feelings about family involvement; feelings about the care plan; and feelings upon departure.
- If the youth is transitioning to a new provider, questions about feelings about the upcoming transition are asked.
- Real-time app monitoring feelings and experiences of mental health service users