Just in time for Spring– Growing our Peer Community

Greetings and Happy Thursday!

Thanks so much for all of the feedback we have gotten on the site and our latest posts.  As we continue to work out the kinks, it’s super helpful to hear about your thoughts or any issues you may find.

Next week we will begin an exciting new phase of our project– participant recruitment!  One important part of SOVA and WiseSOVA is the community of peers who have experienced depression themselves or been a parent of a child who has experienced it.  With the help of this peer community, we will be able to best tailor the content and design of the site for our intended site users.  We hope that when we start using the website for the research study, we will have built an active peer community of partners that can provide a helping hand to those currently experiencing problems with depression.

We still have many questions like, can we engage more people in discussion if we write about depression in different ways?  For example, sharing someone’s personal story vs. discussing more general ideas of what experiencing such an issue can be like.

Next week we start recruiting from the Adolescent Clinic and we are excited to learn what happens.  Stay tuned as we begin building our community!


Please meet SOVA and WiseSOVA


We are super excited to have both our SOVA site as well as its sister site, WiseSOVA .  Feel free to check them out, but please don’t try to register on the site – still working out some tweaks!  Before we get started with unraveling  our projects, we wanted to give you a taste of how we plan to use each site.


Our plan is to create a peer network of adolescent and young adults (AYA) with a history of depression and treatment that are interested in helping other adolescents currently struggling with depression and trying to decide whether to get treatment.  We would like  to develop a repository of AYA-created personal stories and education that we can use to continuously update the website design.


Similar to the SOVA site, our plan is to create a peer network of parents interested in helping other parents with adolescents with depression.  We will be developing another repository of parent-created personal stories and education.

Periodically, we will also ask for feedback on some of our latest website-related projects:

  • Testing of possible website designs
  • Forming a user community
  • Creating content for the website
  • Participating in a satisfaction survey on SOVA involvement


We hope to start recruiting interested peers in the beginning of March and will continue to update you and ask for your valued input on how this process is going!

We are looking forward to having you on board and can’t wait to start collaborating!

spring pic

We Are Going Live!

After months of hard work and research, we are thrilled to announce that we are finally going live!

Orange Desk 2.12.15

We will be using this site to post updates on our project, share the latest findings in mental health research, distribute relevant articles we find compelling, and keep you abreast of any upcoming events we hear about. Coming soon, we will be posting various projects to the site that we would love your help with.  All of our collaboration can be done right through the site.  For quick updates on what we are working on, follow us on Twitter @sova_project.  If you’d like to be on our mailing list, please email us.

Think Alouds

This week, we have finalized the basic look of the adolescent/young adult (sova.pitt.edu) and the parent (wisesova.pitt.edu) sites.  Prashanth, Mitalee, and Anvay from the Information Sciences program at Pitt have been scouring wordpress for the right plug-ins and trying them out on our practice site. We’ve had some wonderful young people and parents volunteer to give the first feedback on the two sites in a process called: “think aloud.” A “think aloud” is as simple as it sounds but sometimes hard for people to do since its not common to say all of your thoughts about completing a task out loud.

Would you be interested in completing a think aloud? 

This is basically an interview where we learn about whether we designed something well. We ask you to complete a task (like if we said to make a piece of toast and gave you a toaster). Then you describe everything you’re doing (I put the bread in the hole, I push the button down…) And then we audio and video record it and see if there is anything bad about the design (toaster) we can fix!
Here is a silly example:

If you are interested, please email Alex!

Starting Out


Hi everyone! Welcome to the first blog post on the sovaproject website. Our research team is going through some untreaded territory but we are very excited about where this new path will take us. Personally I’m most excited to be able to use this site and update you all on a regular basis with what our team is working on. Thanks to WordPress for being such an awesome user friendly content management system to use! I remember when creating my own website seemed like something I would never be able to learn. Now anyone can communicate and share important research like this! I am looking forward to the days to come and your future involvement!

Supporting Our Valued Adolescents