Mental Health MH19, 2018 – 2022

Primary Care E-Screening for Mental health among TeTai Tokerau Youth

YouthCHAT is an electronic screening tool developed in 2016 to assess risk taking behaviour and detect mental health concerns among youth in primary care settings. This study will use an implementation science, co-design participatory research approach with mixed method design to explore the feasibility and acceptability of YouthCHAT, when tailored for use across settings with large Māori populations: nurseled youth clinics, school-based clinics, and general practice. Roll-out will be pragmatic, starting with five nurse-led clinics, with up to 10 other clinics included over three years. The study aims to explore adaptation of YouthCHAT in different primary care settings; assess provider and youth acceptability of the tool, and identify changes in screening rates for mental health, help-seeking behaviour and brief intervention delivery. It is anticipated that YouthCHAT will be a culturally acceptable, cost-effective and timesaving screening tool within primary care settings, increasing youth mental health screening and improving access to care.

Background In New Zealand (NZ), suicide is the leading cause of death for youth aged 15-24 years, and second leading cause of death for youth aged 10-14 years.1 More than one in four of NZ’s young people are affected by depression and anxiety; over half engage in hazardous drinking by the age of 18.6 7 For Māori, the burden of morbidity and mortality associated with mental health is considerably higher, with Māori males living in deprived areas having the highest rates of suicide2-4 and disproportionate rates of depressive symptoms.2 Depressive disorders place a high financial strain on NZ’s economy, and is the major contributing factor in youth suicide and youth mental health issues. Risk-taking behaviours developed during adolescence contribute to long-term poor health and socio-economic problems.3-5 Despite the availability of effective treatments, as much as 75% of NZ’s adolescent population do not access help to address these concerns.6 Early detection and intervention is paramount for youth who have developed, or who are at risk of developing, mental health conditions, however this cannot occur unless those who are experiencing these issues are identified and offered help.

First named investigator Name Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith

Funding organisations

  • Mental Health MH19
  • New Zealand
  • 2018 – 2022