Coping skills app for young people during pandemic
Whitu: Coping skills app for young people during pandemic
About this project
In early 2020, it became apparent that New Zealand young people would need additional support to maintain their well-being, improve their mental health and to build resilience during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. This project, initially funded by the Starship Foundation and then by the Auckland Medical Research Foundation (AMRF) was conceptualised to co-design and evaluate an evidence-based well-being app called ‘Whitu: Seven ways in seven days’.
A pilot trial and qualitative study of the initial prototype app in July 2020 demonstrated statistically significant improvements in wellbeing, depression, anxiety and stress from baseline to 6-weeks; feasibility of running a larger trial; and some concerns regarding navigation, design and cultural acceptability. Following refinement of the app to address these issues, a randomised controlled trial of the second prototype was undertaken between January and April 2021. Results of this trial are currently awaited.
Who is involved?
Principal investigators: Anna Serlachius and Hiran Thabrew
Co-investigators: Jennifer Brenton-Peters, Anna Boggiss, Elise Buttenshaw, Nic Cao, Alana Cavadino, Stephanie Chadd, David Lim, Eva Morunga, Kiralee Schache and Kate Wallace-Boyd
How long will it take?
The project commenced in March 2020 and is expected to be completed by December 2021.
What we hope to achieve
We hope that Whitu proves to be a culturally appropriate, scalable mental health intervention to support New Zealand young people, and possibly others overseas, maintain their well-being, improve their mental health and build resilience during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.