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New study: Digital support for young people with their mood and wellbeing

A new study has been launched to explore the feasibility of a new online programme designed to support young people with their mood and wellbeing.

This study comes as part of a latest evaluation of the programme, led by Dr Rhys Bevan Jones at Cardiff University.

The need for an evidence-based digital tool has become clear from the growing body of research which points towards high rates of low mood and depression in adolescence, with many young people not accessing or receiving any formal support to help manage these difficulties.

This new programme, MoodHwb, was co-developed with young people, families, carers and practitioners from health, education and social services and charities.

This level of collaboration was important in ensuring that the design and content of MoodHwb were relevant and accessible for the people who would benefit from using it.

More details on its development can be found in this paper.

Following this, an early evaluation of MoodHwb was conducted. The overall findings were favourable and included feedback on how the programme could be improved.

The current study will allow for further development and provide more evidence on its feasibility, acceptability and potential impact on mood and wellbeing of young people.

I started working on this project in July as a research assistant. Alongside this, I work as a psychological wellbeing practitioner at an NHS trust in England. This means I assess and treat people over sixteen to help manage their mental health difficulties using techniques based on cognitive behavioural therapy.

I frequently observe the barriers that young people can face in engaging with mental health support – whether it be long waiting lists, difficulty expressing or understanding emotions, not knowing where to go for help, or being daunted by the prospect of one-to-one support with a professional.

I firmly believe that digital technologies will play a huge role in breaking down some of these barriers, and am very excited to be a part of this research!

Take part

The study opened in October 2022 and is led by Dr Rhys Bevan Jones.

The study is split into two sections:

Start of project:

  1. Fill in an online form, talk to us about the project and give consent to take part
  2. Fill in an online questionnaire about your mood and wellbeing, which takes around 25-30 minutes
  3. Receive a link to an online programme/app or digital information pack

Two months after starting:

  1. Fill in the same online questionnaire
  2. If you used the programme, answer extra questions about your feedback, which takes around 10-15 minutes

Two-thirds of young people will have access to the online programme and a third will receive the information pack. A computer will decide which group you will go into.

We are currently recruiting young people who:

  • live in Wales or Scotland
  • aged between 13 to 19 years of age who are experiencing problems with their mood or wellbeing (such as feeling down),
  • and their parents or carers.

Further information can be found on our study page.


YouTube Study Introduction:


Anna Gray

Anna is a research assistant for child and adolescent psychiatry in the division of psychological medicine and clinical neurosciences at Cardiff University.

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