Tag Archives: adolescents

SOVA updates

This week we tried out using a more provocative title on our sites, “When I grow up, I don’t want to be like you.” This title is meant to grab the reader’s attention, but the context of the article is bringing up the issue of worrying you will “turn into” a relative who has a similar problem with mental illness. We hope the article makes readers think about how they are a unique individual and even though mental illness can run in families, they are the captain of their own ship. In addition for adolescents, if they are in treatment, it is likely that they are receiving it earlier than their relatives did – as it takes an average of 10 years! to get into treatment for mental illness.  Check out these posts on our adolescent site, sova.pitt.edu and on our parent site, wisesova.pitt.edu.

In other news, SOVA is now on Instagram! If you have an account, please follow us at sovaproject.

 

We have news!

Anyone can look through and read all the blog articles on sova and wisesova!

Photo Credit: SubtlePanda via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: SubtlePanda via Compfight cc

This week, we opened our sites so that the blog post articles are no longer log-in only.  This means if you go to our site for adolescents (sova.pitt.edu) or our site for parents (wisesova.pitt.edu), anyone can look through and read all the blog articles. Also if anyone would like to subscribe to receive the daily blog articles, they can enter their name in the subscribe box on the homepages of each site.

So when do you have to log-in? How do people enter the study?

If someone would like to comment, then they will have to log in. If it is their first time to log in, they will have to register. They will have to wait until our study team approves them as a user after registering before they can log on to the site.  Depending on the phase of our study, they may  or may not qualify as a user since all non-team users are currently part of our study.

What phase of the study are you in?

Right now we are still testing both sites for feasiblity. That means we are trying to answer: will people use them? will they like them? how can we make them better? After we complete our recruitment goals for that study, we will move to the next phase of growing the online community.  We will let you know when that happens!

Why does this matter to me?

Now anyone can feel free to explore the sites!

Why did you make this change?

Making the SOVA websites is an iterative process. This means we learn what users want – make the changes – then we again ask the users what they like what they don’t like or we see which parts of the site they use and don’t use – and make more changes…over and over again. The current user feedback has led us to changing the site to be more engaging by opening up the blog articles while still making sure parts of the site are anonymous – by asking users to log-in to view others’ comments.

How can I help get the word out about sovaproject?

Feel free to share articles on your social media which speak to you!

Feel free to recommend articles you read and like to your family, friends, colleagues, patients, clients!

Like us on Facebook!

Also, feel free to give us feedback on articles by emailing us at socialmediastudy@chp.edu!

Thanks for reading!

“After School” App

We recently learned about the new App for smart phones called “After School.” It’s an app that allows students to anonymously post about sensitive issues. However, many fear that the app may be used for bullying. This article from the Washington Post is how we found out about the app.

After reviewing the new update posted by the developers, we think they have taken a lot of steps to make the app safer. Some of these include 24/7 moderating, an emergency notification system, community guidelines, and the ability for students to remove harmful content. To join your school’s anonymous community, the app uses Facebook and your friends on Facebook to identify that you are friends with other students who belong to your school. If you want to see any sexual or profane content, you have to prove you are over 17 and scan your driver’s license. Still, adolescents are smart, and there are likely ways to hack the system.

What do you think about these updates?  Does it make the app safe? Do you know people who use the app? Tell us about it!

Crisis Text Line

A year ago we posted about the development of the Crisis Text Line and how it’s a transformative tool for people to be able to text someone when they are in crisis. Since the Crisis Text Line’s inception, they have had 16,185,952 messages exchanged since August 1, 2013.

Which, as Nancy Lublin notes in her TED talk:

“That’s the volume, velocity and variety to provide a really juicy corpus. We can do things like predictive work. We can do all kinds of conclusions and learnings from that data set.So we can be better, and the world can be better.” 

Furthermore, CrisisTrends.org has been launched to share ALL THIS DATA with us! Crisis Trends aims to empower journalists, researchers, and citizens to understand the crises Americans face so we can work together to prevent future crises from happening. From the TED talk:

“This data is also making the world better because I’m sitting on the world’s first map of real-time crises.Think about it: those 6.5 million messages, auto-tagging through natural language processes, all of these data points — I can tell you that the worst day of the week for eating disorders: Monday. The worst time of day for substance abuse: 5am. And that Montana is a beautiful place to visit but you do not want to live there, because it is the number one state for suicidal ideation.”

From: CrisisTrends.org
From: CrisisTrends.org

With this information, we can know when people are most affected by certain mental health issues, and we can create better interventions.

America’s Adolescents

More than 12 percent of people in the United States—almost 42 million—are between the ages of 10 and 19. The differences in age and biological sex matter when treating adolescents as maturity levels and hormones increase dramatically with age in these years and vary with biological sex as well.

The US Department of Human Services’ Office of Adolescent Health has recently updated their website to include much more information in regards to how adolescents in America are changing and growing.

from: US Department of Human Services
from: US Department of Human Services

 The Changing Face of America’s Adolescents focuses on numbers of adolescents by: age and gender, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status and geographic location.

A Picture of Adolescent Health focuses on: Physical Health and Nutrition, Mental Health, Reproductive Health, Substance Abuse, Educational Attainment, and Healthy Relationships.

This break down of information is a great way to see the population we are working with and to see some current trends in their health outcomes.

from HHS: The Changing Face of America’s Adolescents

At SOVA project we primarily are focusing on mental health, and found it interesting that 30% of of high school students in 2013 had symptoms of depression. Teenagers often already feel alone in their life, and this population may feel even more alienated. Part of our goal at SOVA is to connect adolescents with each other so they see that they are not alone, and that they don’t have to feel ashamed of their illness.

from HHS: The Changing Face of America’s Adolescents

We also found it interesting that 20% of total adolescents have been bullied. Part of our social media strategy is to address positive relationships and online bullying.

Overall we’re excited that the Department of Human Services has enacted this division and that they have provided many more interesting statistics than we have here.

Tell us what you think – did you visit the website? Is this information useful or insightful to you as a clinician, researcher, or advocate? 

SOVA Feasibility Study

SOVA Graphic

We are excited to announce that we are now in our recruitment phase of the Supporting Our Valued Adolescents (SOVA) feasibility study!  In this phase of the SOVA project we are hoping to find if it is realistic to recruit an online community of 100 users to each of our sites.  This would mean 100 adolescents on our SOVA site and 100 parents of adolescents on our wiseSOVA site.

We will be recruiting:

Adolescents/Young Adults (sova.pitt.edu):

  • 14-26 years old
  • experienced symptoms of anxiety and/or depression now or in the past
  • not have current active suicidal thoughts (have a plan to act on these thoughts) or past suicide attempts

Parents (wisesova.pitt.edu):

  • Has an adolescent/young adult (ages 14-26) who has experienced symptoms of anxiety and/or depression now or in the past

In order to sign up all participants will need to do is register through our sites:

SOVA: https://sova.pitt.edu/new-user-registration

wiseSOVA: https://wisesova.pitt.edu/new-user-registration/

Here’s how you can help spread the word!

  • Like our Facebook Page and share our posts with your friends
    • (Our settings are such that others who view our Facebook page can’t see that you liked our page unless you are already Facebook friends)
  • Follow us on Twitter and retweet us
  • Talk with your colleagues and friends about the study