A large number of mental health disorders begin in childhood and youth. It is costly both for the individual and the society to allow problems to develop to the extent that requires professional intervention. Therefore, we need to prevent and solve as many mental health issues as early as possible.
In the past, young people lacked the tools to assess their mental well-being and receive timely feedback. Similarly, the support systems surrounding them, including schools, local municipalities, governments, and mental health service providers, lacked up-to-date and data-driven insights into the mental health of young individuals.
To address these challenges, Clanbeat initiated a pilot with the goal of significantly improving mental well-being and preventing mental health issues among young people. The pilot involved developing a self-assessment and data analysis solution, as well as a marketplace concept for mental health services targeted at students. This solution provided actionable insights to relevant stakeholders and facilitated the measurement of intervention impact.
Based on the pilots with more than 10% of the Estonian schools and the engagement of nearly 4,500 students and more than 800 school staff members, Clanbeat created a model that enables efficient and easy measurement of well-being and provision of direct feedback to youth and school staff. The latter includes the first compact overviews (‘market places’) of potentially relevant services for them.
The consolidated real-time operational data on well-being allows more prompt and more exact decision-making, and useful input for allocating resources, taking measures and shaping the policies. The model also has high potential as a low-cost measurement tool to identify whether new interventions have had an impact on the well-being of the young people or school staff it was offered to. The variety of potential services that would be useful is manifold, and ample opportunities arise for innovators who take a look at the results of our pilots.
Many shortcomings surfaced in the system that could be improved – the lack of coordination in the field, the need for new solutions to certain age groups, the abrupt user journeys for youth looking for help, dependence on parental consent etc.
Vision for the future
Clanbeat envisions technology helping them to map the mental health status and concerns of young people earlier and more efficiently, assisting the development of more effective self-help tools as well as more accessible services and support systems that ensure a better foundation for our youth for their whole lives.
They aim to continue with new iterations of the solution and learn along the way. In 2023, Clanbeat has offered the solution to schools and local governments as a paid service. Also, they work towards exploring how the solution could be integrated with the existing learning management systems. Additionally, they are working together with a team of researchers from University of Tartu to learn more about what data can teach us about the well-being of youth and school staff and its improvement.