May 27, 2015, by Charlotte Beer

Harnessing technology in youth mental health

With the advent of technology, mobile phone applications (apps) have become an essential part of the everyday lives of most young people and offer exciting opportunities to support their mental health needs. A recent scoping review exploring the use of technology to deliver mental health services found that not only were they enthusiastically supported by young people but they also had the potential to deliver better mental health information and improved cost effective services (see reference below).

The MindTech team here in Nottingham are exploring the use of new technologies in youth mental health and last weekend Professor Cris Glazebrook, one of the CANDAL team, presented some of her work at the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) youth mental and wellbeing seminar.


MindTech focus on the 3 Cs of digital interventions: communication, comprehension and control. Their focus is on using technology to improve communication between young people and healthcare providers in order to aid their understanding or comprehension of their condition and care, and increase their sense of control.

One of the self-management apps MindTech are developing is intended for use by young people with Tourette Syndrome (TS). This app will enable them to feed back to their clinicians while they monitor their tics and in partnership explore connections between tic severity and factors which may influence them (ranging from tiredness to exam pressure). They also offer the exciting possibility of instant access to support, for example, with distraction techniques available at the click of a button.


–Dr Charlotte Beer, Assistant Professor in Behavioural Sciences, CANDAL member



Boydell, K. M., Hodgins, M., Pignatiello, A., Teshima, J., Edwards, H., & Willis, D. (2014). Using Technology to Deliver Mental Health Services to Children and Youth: A Scoping Review. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry23(2), 87–99.


Posted in psychiatry