Moodwise case study
The Moodwise website is helping young people in Suffolk to self-manage their mental health with personalised wellbeing resources.
Developed by Mindwave in partnership with Suffolk County Council – Public Health, the easy-to-use web application provides tailored support for wellbeing issues including anxiety, depression, and loneliness. It is hoped that enabling young people to get the right support quickly when they are experiencing mental difficulties will help to prevent their symptoms from escalating.
Suffolk County Council’s Public Health team had carried out surveys on mental wellbeing among young people in the Suffolk area and were looking at ways to improve the support that was available for them. In addition to existing offline support and advice services such as the Emotional Wellbeing Hub, the Council wanted to focus on early intervention and prevention by increasing access to online resources, as their research showed young people would be more likely to use these types of resources.
They were particularly interested in early intervention for young people contemplating suicide and self-harm, and in discovering whether providing a central point for them to quickly access online support would help to improve their emotional wellbeing.
At the Suicide Prevention Innovation Exchange event held in November 2018 by EAHSN (Eastern Academic Health Sciences Network), Suffolk Council saw a project Mindwave had previously developed in London for the Good Thinking Project. Good Thinking is a digital service to help Londoners self-manage a variety of wellbeing issues.
Suffolk Council then successfully applied for funding from EAHSN to work with Mindwave on a similar project, aimed at young people across the county.
Mindwave worked in partnership with Suffolk County Council to design the Moodwise web application which aims to provide access to the right services and support to young people aged between 16 and 25, enabling them to self-manage when they are experiencing mental health difficulties.
Through the simple web application, users can access personally relevant information, resources and services by responding to a series of questions about their emotional wellbeing.
On visiting Moodwise, the user is asked a number of simple questions to determine the type of support they need with one of five common emotional wellbeing issues: anxiety, depression, stress, anger or loneliness. They click on the most relevant word to describe their feelings or emotions (e.g. lonely, angry), the cause of those feelings (e.g. grief or a break-up), the type of support they would like (e.g. information to read or someone to talk to), and any relevant demographic information (e.g. are they LGBTQ or unemployed). They are also asked where they live, as the site can point to local support as well as national online resources.
Based on this information, Moodwise displays a list of the top five sources of information and support resources for the user, with links to click through for more information. Recommended resources include websites, articles and other information, mobile apps, games and national helplines. The site also suggests local helplines and support groups.
Users who need urgent help can bypass the questions and click on an ‘I need help now’ button at the top of the screen, which takes them directly to a list of phone numbers for crisis helplines.
All of the online resources the site links to have been specifically selected by Mindwave, based on those used in the London Good Thinking Project and with the age range of Moodwise users in mind. The local resources were provided by the team from Suffolk City Council’s Public Health team, who have established networks and links to local services in the region. Every resource included on Moodwise has been rigorously assessed by the project’s clinical safety lead to determine its credibility, safety and suitability.
Moodwise was launched as a 12-week pilot programme for use with very specifically targeted user groups in August 2019; Mindwave ran social media campaigns around each of the emotional wellbeing issues to target young people in Suffolk.
The pilot, which is currently being evaluated, saw over 4,000 users visit the site to search for resources. The findings of the evaluation phase will determine the next stage of the project.