We are excited to announce the next step in SOVA. We are recruiting users to become SOVA (adolescent site) or wiseSOVA (parent site) ambassadors! This means that we will ask them to try to write a blogpost each month and comment at least once a week.
Our hope is that this new phase will grow site engagement and that the bloggers themselves will experience benefits from blogging!
In an earlier summer post, we wrote about a recent study on the benefits of blogging and why we enjoy it so much. We are hoping our new bloggers will enjoy it as well!
Remember, if you know a young person with symptoms of depression or anxiety – or a parent who has had a child with these symptoms – who may be interested in blogging, please let them know about sovaproject! They can click register on sova.pitt.edu or wisesova.pitt.edu and start interacting!
I’m excited to share some of our recent work with you regarding evaluating smartphone applications for mental health.
Our article published in this month’s edition of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking examines a group of popular mental health apps and characterizes them, based on their app store descriptions. We looked at what the purpose of these apps seemed to be for: were they for symptom relief or just education, for example? Also we wanted to know did they seem to cover the bases regarding what types of mental health information would be important for mental health app consumers – like letting consumers know whether the app is evidence based or whether it protects their privacy. Like others in the field, we think it is important for clinicians to talk to their patients about what apps they might be using for their mental health. And to sit down together to look into whether the app is actually helpful or not.
This article on fastcompany.com talks about the multiple stakeholders involved in developing mental health apps and how their views on the best approach may differ. This is why sometimes the individual may need to do some more work on their end before knowing whether an app will be useful to them.
On sova and wisesova, each Friday we post about online resources. Recently we highlighted myhealthapps.net. This is a site which uses patient reviews to help others decide whether to try out an app or not. We also asked our online communities on sova to try out apps and let others know if they found them useful.
Of course, there is much more to ask about and learn on this topic, and we hope our recent article is a conversation-starter!
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
- 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:
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