The NEON Young Norway study aims to increase the understanding of young people’s recovery narratives and to develop a digital health intervention to provide young people with direct access to mental health support tailored to their needs.
Young people's mental health is a global public health problem, and mental health problems are one of the greatest threats to their health and well-being. The services have not responded adequately to the burden of mental health problems, resulting in a gap between the need for help and its provision. Today, young people’s mental health needs are largely unmet, access to mental health services is limited and many do not seek help for their problems. Therefore, there is an urgent need to rethink the follow up, as young people call for services that are flexible, easy to access and adapted to their needs and user-patterns. This pioneering project will make use of digital health technologies to provide young people with mental health support by accessing recovery narratives from their peers.
The NEON Young Norway study consists of four work packages with mixed-methods designs:
(1) NEON Young Collection collects young people’s recovery narratives and provides an overview of the characteristics of those narratives.
(2) NEON Young Implementation explores understanding and use of recovery narratives.
(3) NEON Young Interactive develops social-impact games and graphic stories inspired by collected recovery narratives.
(4) NEON Youth Intervention develops and assesses the feasibility of using the digital health intervention hosting young peoples’ recovery narratives.
The project deploys a multidisciplinary team drawing on expertise from municipalities, youth organizations, young people with lived experience, and researchers. In addition, two expert panels consisting of young people with lived experience and researchers will contribute to all the work packages and all parts of the research process to increase research quality and relevance.
Mental health problems are among the greatest threats to young people’s health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, most young people's mental health needs are unmet; access to mental health services is limited, and many do not seek help for their problems. There is a need to develop mental health support tailored to the needs and usage patterns of young people. High flexibility and availability, easy access and the possibility to be anonymous are promoted as important. As young people are growing up in the digital world and increasingly using digital technologies, digital mental health interventions are considered to have an untapped potential to support mental health. The overall aim of this project is to gain an increased understanding of the role of recovery narratives (RN) in young people's recovery processes and to develop digital health technology resources to provide young people with easy and direct access to mental health support. A complex digital health technology intervention tailored to young people will be developed by (1) exploring the characteristics of RN, (2) identifying how young people and providers understand and use RN, (3) examining the immediate impacts and power of RN and (4) generating evidence and developing social impact games and interactive media hosting young people's RN. An interdisciplinary team with expertise in health sciences, health technologies, computer sciences, social sciences, psychology, sociology and professional praxis will adopt a mixed methods approach. The team includes representatives from two municipalities and a mental health user-led organisation for young people. A Lived Experience Advisory Panel will increase the relevance and quality of the project. The project will collect a large amount of data on young people and providers, which will inform young people, interest organisations, policymakers, health care services, the education sector and the games and entertainment industry on digital mental health support.