SchoolSpace: An online screening study to identify young people at risk of developing eating disorders

Listen to the Author discussing their work: 

Introduction: Our outreach work with schools has led to the development of ‘SchoolSpace’, a network of schools committed to working in partnership with us to improve mental health education and support for young people. This network has enabled teachers and students to participate in our longitudinal eating disorder (ED) screening study, an online survey which aims to identify risk and resilience factors associated with the development of EDs. Outcomes from this study will inform the design and development of evidence-based universal and targeted interventions for use in schools. Objective: Currently ‘SchoolSpace’ has no permanent online presence. We aim to develop it as a stand-alone school mental health resource and research portal for schools - . Method: Working in partnership with the ‘SchoolSpace’ network and our industry partner, digital healthcare company (Vision 360), will function as a school-specific website for teachers and young people. The site will offer a wide range of information, support tools and materials for use in the classroom, and serve as a research portal to enable schools to become actively involved in a variety of youth-friendly online surveys, with the aim of promoting early intervention and identification of emerging adolescent mental health issues. Policy/Practice Implications: Teachers are increasingly expected to provide young people with good quality education and support with regards to their mental health, however, a lack of appropriate training and resources often leaves them unskilled and unable to deal with the responsibility. This was highlighted by the recent report of the UK Government Health Select Committee (November 2014), into Children’s and Adolescents Mental Health and Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services, which recommended a much needed “…audit of mental health provision and support within schools, looking at how well the guidance issued to schools this year has been implemented, what further support may be needed, and highlighting examples of best practice”. Conclusion: The establishment of will provide schools in UK with a dedicated site committed to providing trusted resources for use in mental health education.

Poster First Author: 
Charlotte Connor
Conference Presented At: 
IAYMH 2015
Poster Date: 
October, 2015
Subject Area Tag: