PROJECT SUMMARY

Next-Generation Digital Therapeutics for the Child Youth Behavioral Health Initiative

SUMMARY

The Child Mind Institute (CMI) and the Steinberg Institute (SI) have partnered to better understand the use of technology in mental health education and care for youth in California. The organizations are surveying youth, parents, researchers and clinicians, convening focus groups of Californians from across the state, and hosting expert panel discussions.

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) funds this project and will utilize the findings as part of the Child Youth Behavioral Health Initiative (CYBHI).   Insights will be shared with DHCS in the summer of 2023 to assist their work toward improving youth mental health services in California through next-generation digital therapeutics.

  • Surveys: Surveys will be distributed to four groups: youth ages 13-21, parents of youth ages 13-21, clinicians, and researchers. In addition to basic demographic information, the surveys inquire about the use of technology, general mental health, and trusted resources for mental health education resources. The surveys take at most 20 minutes to complete and are divided into sections with incentives to encourage completion.
  • Focus Groups: Six virtual focus groups will reach youth ages 13-21 in the three major regions of California (North, Central, and Southern). With an ever-increasing number of mediums, devices, and approaches, these focus groups will assist us in learning more about how new technology might enhance existing practices or create opportunities for innovation that address complex needs. Additionally, these focus groups may explore the following topics:
    • Barriers to mental health care (technical, stigma/discrimination, financial considerations, or access to care)
    • Current internet usage and information sources
    • The role of parents and peers in seeking mental health care
    • How youth define “good” mental health
  • Expert Convenings: Six expert panels include researchers and clinicians. These convenings seek to understand better how these professionals might utilize technology to improve the delivery of services and to explore the potential of using technology to learn more about youth mental health needs. These 90-minute convenings will also consider current and emerging trends in the use of technology in mental health care as well as anticipated barriers to using next-generation technologies.
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