Why are we doing a diary study?
REACH is investigating why, when faced with similar challenges and difficulties, some young people develop mental health problems and others do not.
Recently, you completed some questionnaires for REACH. The information you gave us is extremely useful, and helps us to understand young people’s mental health. But there are also some important things that questionnaires can’t tell us. We believe that sometimes it’s quite hard to express some information in questionnaires, and we want to hear, in your words, what you are finding most difficult to deal with and what is making your life easier right now during the start of the new school year, how your routines and activities in school and out of school may be very different to how they were last year. In this part of the study, we’re going to ask you to complete a diary to try to understand more about some of these things
What will I be asked to do?
You will be asked to participate in making a diary over the next 8 weeks. You can choose to write your entries, and/or make audio or video recordings. You don’t need to spend any more than 5 to 10 minutes each time, and can make an entry as and when you feel like, though we ask you do this at the very least once every week.
In each entry, we are particularly interested to hear about how going back to school, and changes to your school routine have impacted your wellbeing and what is helping you to feel better about the situation you’re in. Diary entries will be recorded on a free to download mobile app (Metricwire) which instantly sends the entries to us via a secure online platform that only research staff on the REACH project will have access to. If you do not have a personal android phone to use for this part of the study, we will provide you with a phone during this period, which you can use solely for the purpose of recording your diaries.
The types of questions that we would like you to answer each time you record an entry are:
- How have you been today? We’re keen to hear about what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been feeling. How about over the past week?
- Have there been other changes at school since you returned in September?
- How do you feel about being back to school, your travel to and from school, seeing your friends again, risks to your physical health (or physical health of members of your family)?
- How do you feel about your academic progress since you returned to school?
- What has made things challenging (if anything)? What has helped you cope with challenges?
- How have these experiences had an impact on your mental health and wellbeing?
We will also ask you to participate in two short interviews (25 to 30 minutes each) with one of our researchers (over Skype or Zoom). The first interview, at the beginning of the study, will be to find out how lockdown and school closures impacted your well-being and mental health. The second interview, which we will ask you to participate in at the end of the study, will be to find out about your experience of completing the diaries.
You’ll receive a £40 voucher for taking part!
How private is the diary?
Importantly, you won’t be made to talk about anything you don’t want to talk about. We have explained to your parents/carers (you can read information for parents & carers here) that you should have the privacy to make these recordings without worrying about being interrupted or overheard if at all possible.
Once you have recorded a diary entry, it will be sent to us via the mobile app, the recordings will be automatically deleted from your phone, and within a week, your diary entries will be viewed by members of the research team. All information collected will be completely confidential (private) to the research team and will not be seen by your parents, other pupils, teachers, or anyone who works at the school.
If, however, when recording your diary entry, you tell us something that makes us concerned for your welfare we may inform your school’s safeguarding lead. If you are over 16 and have left school, and you tell us something that makes us concerned for your welfare, one of our trained researchers will call you to discuss options for getting you the help that you need. We may also contact the safeguarding lead at your college/sixth form or contact the relevant child protection service.
You can read our privacy notice here.
What will I get in return?
You will receive a £40 e-voucher for taking part!
What do I do if I have any questions?
If there is anything you don’t understand, or if you have any questions you would like to ask, then please do!
You can REACH us here!
You can REACH us here!
This research study has been approved by an independent group of people called the Psychiatry, Nursing and Midwifery (PNM) Research Ethics Subcommittee (RESC) (reference: HR15/162320). If this study harms you in any way, please contact the Chair of the PNM RESC at firstname.lastname@example.org.