Using Mobile Phones to Monitor Teen Health

March 30, 2009 at 12:07 pm 2 comments

tm2This is a fascinating, innovative project through  the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and the Telstra Foundation  that uses technology to access and monitor teen mental health.  At OneSeventeen Media we’ve been long-time proponents of utilizing technology to meet kids in their culture with the content they need to make smart, healthy decisions in their online and offline lives.  While the above study deals only with teens already experiencing mental health concerns, we believe there is value in giving all kids the opportunity and access to useful, relevant tools for navigating their teen and tween years.  

I’ll be keeping an eye out on what’s to come from this study.  It’s encouraging that doctors like Sophie Reid get it – they understand the possibilities offered through technology to enhance the lives of our young people. 

Dr Reid said that one challenge in detecting youth depression is the difficulty some young patients have in communicating their mental health issues to their [general doctors]. “Mobiletype capitalizes on the familiarity young people have communicating via SMS to help them express their feelings and have their mental well-being effectively assessed,” said Dr Reid. 

“Up to 30 per cent of young people will experience a form of depression by the end of their teenage years. About 50 per cent of common mental disorders begin during adolescence yet unfortunately most people wait six to 23 years to obtain appropriate treatment. Delays between the onset of depression and receiving appropriate treatment are associated with poor mental health outcomes in the long-term, which makes adolescence an important time for intervention,” said Dr Reid.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amy Looper  |  April 2, 2009 at 10:03 am

    This is very exciting! I’m happy to see more and more content designed to engage youth in their technology based culture.

  • 2. billybean  |  April 2, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Thanks for this post, it’s interesting to see how mobile technology can be used in a variety of ways to connect with young people. Youth workers and advisors have long been using text to ‘talk’ to young people and it’s great that more professionals are increasingly using alternative methods for communicating with young people.


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