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.
You and your friends may have recently completed some questionnaires for REACH. The information you give 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, or aren’t very accurate at telling 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 this very difficult period of school closures and social isolation measures.
In this part of the study, we’re going to ask you to complete a video, audio or written diary to try to understand more about some of these things.
What will I be asked to do?
If you take part, you will be asked to make a 5-minute video, audio and/or written diary entry once every week for two months, about what impact social distancing and school closures 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 (Expiwell) 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 lockable android 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 has your week been? We’re keen to hear about what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been feeling.
- How about over the past couple of weeks?
- How do you feel now about school closures, having to stay at home all the time, not seeing your friends, and other changes since the outbreak of COVID-19?
- How do you feel these changes are affecting your mental health, positively and negatively?
- What has helped you cope with all of these changes? What’s not helped you to cope?
- How are you getting on with others in your household, and with friends (on the phone, or social media)?
At the end of the two months, we will ask you to participate in a short interview (30 minutes at most) with one of our researchers (over Skype or Zoom, or telephone call) to find out about your experience of completing the video diaries.
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’ll 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 email@example.com.