One might expect that Generation Y, the “digital natives” would be the quickest to embrace e-Mental Health. But what do they really think about the use of technology in counselling?
Two recent studies examined the preferences of youth when it comes to e-Mental Health interventions.
Mar, et. al (2014), looked at “youth consumer preferences for online interventions targeting depression and anxiety”. Interviews with 23 youth were focused around the question, ‘‘If there was a website available for individuals with mood disorders or anxiety, what would you want it to look like?’’
What did they learn?
Participants preferred professional support to be delivered over online chat, though e-mail was acceptable to some. Participants viewed professionals as a support to access after peers.
Privacy was seen as a serious concern and was linked to stigma around others finding out about their mental health concern.
Participants believed having an online community of others with similar problems could help create feelings that they are not alone and provide opportunities to share stories and artwork. Interestingly, “although participants wanted support and a human connection, they also valued privacy and anonymity”.
Paradox? Or is this the strength of e-Mental Health that both are possible?
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA