Social media and youth mental health and wellbeing

Social media and youth mental health and wellbeing

What does this study aim to do?

This project aims to improve the safety and quality of online communication by young people about topics relating to mental health. We know social media is an important aspect of young people’s lives, and we want to support them with the tools and the skills they need when communicating online about their mental health, or when they would like to support a friend.

This project will directly address this by testing the impact of a set of evidence-informed guidelines and campaign materials that target young people’s capacity to communicate safely on social media about suicide. Expected outcomes of this project include increased online safety for young people. This study also has national and international significance for the social media industry and the safe governance of their platforms.

Study eligibility

To be eligible you will need to:

  • be aged 16-25 years: and
  • live in Australia; and
  • have communicated about suicide or self-harm on social media (posted about or responded) or have seen self-harm or suicide content on social media; and
  • have not previously participated in a research study that was focused on evaluating suicide, self-harm or sexual health content on social media; and
  • be an active social media user; and 
  • be happy to share your mobile phone number with the research team so that we can contact you. 

What's involved in the study?

If you express interest in participating, you’ll do a self-assessment, consent and baseline questionnaire.

You’ll then be contacted once a week, for a period of 8 weeks, via   text message. The message will include social media content, a nine-question acceptability survey and information about support services.

At the conclusion of the 8 weeks participants will be asked to complete a follow-up questionnaire, and then a third and final questionnaire four weeks later. 

If you participate in the study, you’ll receive $45 per survey that you complete and $3 each week you help us evaluate the content.

What happens to information collected?

Your information will be kept private, and you won’t be identified in the guidelines or any other publications that come out of these research projects, without your consent.

You can stop at any time

Participation in this study is voluntary and participants are free to withdraw from the study at any time. 

This will not affect the participant’s routine treatment, their relationship with those treating them, or their relationship with Orygen.

If you decide to no longer be involved in the study, they should let one of the researchers on the study know.

I'm interested - what's next?

To find out if you are eligible for the study, you can fill out this quick survey (it takes 2-3 minutes) here.

SEP v1.2. UniMelb ethics approval 2022-24238-32907-3