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The main expected outcome of the Supreme project is to improve mental health among the target group of European adolescents and young adults in the age-group 14-24 years.  Mental health problems identified in adulthood often begin during childhood and adolescence.  Depression, anxiety, and conduct disorders that persist without treatment, establish a foundation for adolescents’ patterns of behaviour and life choices. The transition between adolescence and adulthood is a fundamental period for the future health status of an individual. Therefore, targeting vulnerable adolescents and promoting mental health is vital in preventing future mortality and morbidity associated with mental health problems.

Specific strategies will be implemented in each participating country in order to reach the higher possible number of subjects. These will include promotion of the Internet-based intervention in schools and universities, information about the intervention on websites managed by young people, and social networks. Strategies to reach target groups will be delivered by peers and mental health professionals, then compared in order to evaluate their efficacy in recruiting young subjects.

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 stimulate peer help. 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.

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 the well-being of adolescents that use the website and to evaluate which components of the website are most effective.

 

If you work at a college or school, or are a teacher interested in collaborating with SUPREME, please contact Abbie Connors at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .