Digital Technology and Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing

Published November 9, 2018


What would we use and how would we use it? Exploring the use of digital technology in promoting wellbeing and engagement with support for highly vulnerable young people

Karleen Gwinner, Rhianon Vichta, Brisbane Youth Service, and Brian Collyer, yourtown, QLD

Putting therapeutic tools for wellbeing directly into the hands of vulnerable young people, on their phones and devices, seems to make good sense. There are a great number of apps and websites which provide guidance and strategies for enhancing wellbeing, including mental health issues and other life challenges common to young people who are dealing with homelessness and other life crises.

What we see, however, is that use of these remains limited amongst highly vulnerable and homeless young people. Given the typically highly transient and crisis-driven nature of young people’s engagement with crisis services, digital tools may not only benefit young people’s mental health and wellbeing, but enhance their connections with support.

This paper shares key learning emerging from youth consultation research into how young people accessing crisis services understand wellbeing and view the potential use of online tools for both therapeutic benefit and to enhance connection to support.