Session: Technological Innovations for Social Change on Youth Mental Health (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

226 Technological Innovations for Social Change on Youth Mental Health

Saturday, January 14, 2023: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Desert Sky, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Adolescent and Youth Development
Dora Tam, PhD, University of Calgary
Siu Ming Kwok, PhD, University of Calgary, Barbara Lee, PhD, University of British Columbia and Tara Collins, Private home
The attention to the mental health and wellbeing among young persons is a growing worldwide phenomenon. According to the World Health Organization (2020), one in five adolescents experience a form of mental health disorder each year, and over 50% of all mental health conditions started at the age of 14. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health conditions for young persons. In 2021, Statistics Canada indicated that more than 6 in 10 young persons aged 15 to 34 reported worsening mental health conditions since the onset of the pandemic. With COVID-19 restrictions including staying-at-home and social distancing protocols, the use of technology has been a means to cope and overcome social isolation.

The purposes of this roundtable are: 1) to examine the role of technology in social service provision specifically to address youth mental health; 2) to share a collaborative approach to develop a web-based application for the promotion and early intervention of youth mental health; and 3) to discuss ethical issues to balance youth’s right on privacy, data security, and the need for safety in the cyberworld, but also attending to issues pertaining to accessibility and alternative modes of service delivery.

This roundtable session will include a panel with representatives from academic researchers, community service providers, community service users, and IT professionals. First, the roundtable session will begin with an overview of the use of digital technology, digital games, or gamified products for the promotion and early intervention of youth mental health in social work. Second, the panel will discuss the process of co-creating a web application on child and youth mental health, using Harry Shier’s (2001) participation model with youth, parents, service providers, government officials, and academic researchers. The panel will share their unique intersections, contributions, and challenges working from different positionalities. Third, we will discuss the complex technical and ethical challenges when considering the use of web-based technology for social interventions. Our goal is to facilitate conversation that will highlight the need for different stakeholder involvement, examine the careful and complex ethical considerations, and to ultimately promote the integration of technology innovation in social work research and practice for social change.

See more of: Roundtables