MoodHwb: mood and wellbeing in young people
Each year as many as 1 in 20 young people will be diagnosed with depression. Both boys and girls can be affected, although girls are twice as likely to experience it as boys.
UK guidelines stress the need for good information and psychological/talking and social therapies, backed by strong evidence.
Developing a resource
As part of a National Institute for Health Research (NIHRI) / Health and Care Research Wales doctoral fellowship, we developed a web programme called MoodHwb to help with low mood and depression in young people and their parents/carers.
MoodHwb has been co-designed with young people and parents/carers and aims to engage young people, promote self-help and help-seeking where appropriate. It uses developmentally appropriate language, illustrations, animations and interactive components (e.g. profile-building, mood monitoring, goal-setting).
There are several ways to personalise the programme and there is a section for families/carers, friends and professionals – in part to promote social support. It also includes resources for other issues commonly experienced alongside depression (e.g. anxiety).
The programme is multi-platform, and there is an accompanying ‘app’, which includes the interactive components and a mobile-friendly version of the main site. It is available in English and Welsh ('hwb' is the Welsh translation for 'hub', and also means a 'lift' or 'boost').
There is more information on its design and development in the paper: A Web-Based Psychoeducational Intervention for Adolescent Depression: Design and Development of MoodHwb
Future of the programme
During an early evaluation, young people, parents/carers and professionals reported that MoodHwb was engaging, clear, easy to use and helpful. The feedback contributed to the refinement of the programme.
We aim to test this new version in schools and primary mental health services in Wales and Scotland, as part of an NIHR/Health and Care Research Wales Post-Doctoral Fellowship.
This work will help ensure that it is closer to being rolled-out as an early intervention programme in health, education, youth and social services/charities.