• SPOR Collaboration Grant Research Project
    Mar 20, 2018 | McGill University

    Peer versus Professional Video Outreach to Enhance Mental Health Resilience in University Students

    Principal Investigator: Heath, Nancy L; Di Genova, Lina; Iyer, Srividya N; Lewis, Stephen P; Whitley, Rob

    Co-Investigators: Burke, Charles E; Eon, Victoria; Gauthier, Martine; Golt, Ryan; Lee, Nicole; Mettler, Jessica; O’Brien, Norman; Romano, Vera; Zito, Stephanie

    Abstract: Background: Stress and mental health (MH) difficulties in emerging adults are increasingly a problem on university campuses. New models of service delivery are being explored to address this, including peer support and outreach. While peer outreach aimed at raising awareness and challenging stigma has been effective, the extension of peer outreach to more strategy-based support has yet to be examined. Furthermore, the importance of including students with lived experience of MH difficulties in collaborative efforts in outreach is acknowledged by mental health professionals (MHP), however, how is this collaboration experienced by those engaged in the process? Finally, is peer or MHP-led outreach more effective in reaching students? The proposed project will address these important issues by: (1) exploring multiple stakeholders’ perspectives on the experience of collaborative co-creation of skills-building student outreach; (2) evaluating peer-led versus MHP-led online skills-building video outreach against a waitlist control group; and (3) evaluating relative reach of Mental Health Services versus peer sharing of outreach. Description: The project will have three phases. First, the team will co-create two video series (peer-led and MHP-led), after which team members’ views on this process will be examined. Phase 2, will compare students’ satisfaction and change in resilience indicators following the peer-led, the MHP-led, or a waitlist control condition. Finally, based on Phase 2 results, the most effective outreach will be shared through either universities’ Mental Health Services or peer organizations and relative use and student satisfaction compared. Impact: As a unique service user/provider/researcher collaboration to develop and critically evaluate the benefits of peer- versus MHP-led online outreach, this proposal will significantly contribute to our understanding and provision of online outreach to enhance university students’ MH resilience.

    Keywords: KNOWLEDGE SHARING AND DISSEMINATION; MENTAL HEALTH RESILIENCE; MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE PROVIDER/USER COLLABORATION; ONLINE OUTREACH; PATIENT ENGAGEMENT – SERVICE USERS; PEER SUPPORT PROGRAMS; UNIVERSITY STUDENTS/EMERGING ADULTS