Depression is a common problem in the U.S. and globally. About 10% of adolescents have had a major depressive episode. About a quarter to half of depressed adolescents also have anxiety. Unfortunately only one third have received any help. And even if they do receive some help, they might not follow through with getting enough treatment. There are many reasons to explain this – but one issue is that parents and young people may benefit from understanding more about what depression is, what treatments can help, and why there is no reason to feel bad about getting help. Young people and their parents already use social media to talk to each other about depression. We think by connecting young people to each other, and parents to each other, in separate social media sites, they can learn about depression, anxiety, and treatment from each other and a therapist moderator in a safe space.
About our moderators: The SOVA websites are monitored by moderators who have experience in behavioral health and are overseen by the project head, Dr. Radovic, a physician in pediatrics and adolescent specialist. Moderators provide support with answering questions and making sure conversations between peers are safe. They DO NOT provide online therapy but can help with a referral.
Currently we are in the feasibility phase of the research project and starting to build a community on SOVA of young people and wiseSOVA of parents with advice and input to offer! We hope you join to help us in this effort by registering or recommending our sites to others!
We hope you stay tuned to find out what we learn!
Feel free to contact us by email to learn more about this study.