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SUPREME for Professionals PDF Print E-mail

The main objective of the SUPREME project is to organize a partnership of expert organizations and professionals for the development and the implementation of an Internet and media based, multi-language, culturally adapted, mental health promotion and suicide prevention intervention. The intervention will comprise a sustainable, highly interactive website targeted at adolescents and young adults in the age group 14-24. A media dissemination campaign on best-practices will be aimed at newspapers and magazines with a young audience.

The Internet based prevention program will comprise a series of highly interactive websites accessible to all but aimed at adolescents and young adults. The websites will be monitored by adults in order to prevent harmful behaviours. The program will use peer as well as adult referral to the intervention website.  The disseminated information and activities performed by users will focus on raising awareness about mental health and suicide, combating stigma, and stimulating peer support as well as making professional help available. The media-based intervention will build on an assessment of the evidence from literature-based studies with input from focus groups, on the basis of which guidelines for best practices will be drafted.

The research project will have a duration of three years and will be developed in four different phases, connected to each other:

  • Mapping of Existing Resources
  • A complete and active survey of previous and current mental health promotion programmes on the internet will be performed to evaluate past and existing strategies and to identify specific approaches that prove most effective. The survey will be performed on two different levels. On the first level the existing scientific literature on this topic will be reviewed, on the basis of the highest scientific standard using methodologies created by the Cochrane Group for literature reviews. On the second level, the search will be performed directly on the Internet in order to identify those sites that are currently active in suicide prevention but have not been described yet in scientific papers. The same methodology developed by the Cochrane group to search the main literature databases, such as MEDLINE, PsychINFO, Cinahl, EMbase, etc. based on a defined set of keywords and delimiters for time, language and geographical area, will be used to search on the search engine Google for existing websites. These will be surveyed and evaluated through a specifically designed evaluation instrument. Where the information available online will not be enough to draw conclusions about the website, the developers will be contacted in order to acquire more information. This first phase of the project will have a duration of 6 months and will result in at least two published papers and a set of guidelines regarding current best practices for suicide prevention on the internet. These guidelines will then be used for the second phase of the project.

     

  • Development of the Project Website
  • A highly interactive website aimed at mental health promotion and suicide prevention will be developed. The website will be specifically aimed at adolescents and young adults and will provide information about mental health issues and the possibility to get help with particular focus on raising awareness, combating stigma, and stimulating peer support. This will be achieved through a series of static pages containing information for adolescents and through a number of interactive modules, designed with the objective to provide peer help and professional help for adolescents in need. The website users will be able to choose what kind of help they wish to receive, ranging from getting information and increasing self-awareness, obtaining peer-help through discussion with other adolescents and/or booking individual time to discuss with a professional. All interactive activities on the website, including message boards, chats etc. will be moderated and supervised by a professional in order to prevent any misuse of the system.

    The information collected in the first phase of the project will be used in order to adjust the intervention strategy to the highest scientific standards. Focus groups will be conducted in schools with adolescents in order to explore their needs and obtain information about which services and systems they use most and they find more likely to be utilized and accepted by them. Phase 2 of the project will have a duration of 12 months.

     

  • Implementation of the Intervention and Evaluation of Effectiveness
  • After the website is opened for public access, an evaluation program will be implemented involving a sample of high schools in each country. A specific program to promote the website will be performed and will be led by adolescents and teachers in different schools. This will allow us to test if referral by adolescents is more effective in comparison to referral from adults. Adolescents recruited in the schools will be asked to fill in a brief questionnaire regarding their mental health status and well-being; a follow up questionnaire will be administered after one and three months in order to evaluate changes related to the intervention. The adolescents recruited in schools will be given a unique code that they will have to use in order to access the website. Through this code it will be possible to track what activities they will be performing online and the impact on their mental health. Access to the website statistics will be analyzed in order to evaluate which referral system gives better results in terms of page visits and in terms of activities performed on the website by users.

    Other adolescents, not recruited and evaluated in the selected schools, will also be able to access the website and utilize the available resources. These adolescents will have the opportunity to enter in an evaluation program if they wish, through online questionnaires. These users will then be contacted by e-mail after one month and three months in order to remind them to fill in follow-up questionnaires about well-being. The overall objective of this procedure is to evaluate eventual modifications in well-being of adolescents that use the website and to evaluate which components of the website are most effective.

    The effectiveness of an Internet based suicide intervention depends also on the available Internet access in the specific regions. Information concerning the frequency of Internet use and the number of young people with regular access to Internet will be integrated into the final results regarding efficacy. Data about Internet usage will be used as covariates when analyzing and comparing the efficacy of the Internet based intervention. Phase 3 of the project will have a duration of 6 months.

     

  • Analysis of Results, Adjustment and Large Scale Implementation through Dissemination
  • Outcomes of the planned interventions will be measured and statistically evaluated. Once the best outcomes and most important elements of practice intervention have been defined, specific guidelines and reports about the intervention will be developed. Guidelines will include recommendations in relation to the following aspects: the content and implementation of the interventions, target groups that should be included when performing internet based mental health promotion interventions, the duration and intensity of the interventions, the most effective ways to refer adolescents in need, and the most effective mental health promotion tools. The outcomes will be of value for the development of Internet-based strategies for mental health promotion and suicide prevention. The guidelines, reports and all other project materials will be disseminated to relevant actors for suicide prevention in adolescents, including the scientific community, the general public, young people, school staff, parents and politicians. Phase 4 of the project will have a duration of 12 months.

 

If you are a professional or a researcher working in the field of mental health promotion or suicide prevention and are interested in establishing a collaboration with SUPREME, please contact the project leader Vladimir Carli at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it