Master Your Mood Online - Development and implementation of an online course for adolescents with depressive symptoms
This article describes the development and implementation of the preventive group course in chatbox ‘Master Your Mood Online’ (Gripopjedip online) for adolescents aged 16 to 25 with depressive symptoms. An estimated 80.000 adolescents aged 18 to 25 suffer from depression every year. Depression in adolescence often goes hand in hand with other problems like social disfunctioning, low school results, school drop-out, excessive alcohol- and drug use and suicide (attempts). Therefore, prevention of depression in adolescents is of great importance. Research has shown that depressive symptoms are influenceable and appropriate intervention aimed at youngsters with depressive symptoms, can avert depression. These insights led to the development of the Dutch preventive face-to-face group course ‘Master your mood’ for youngsters aged 16 to 25 with depressive symptoms. It is based on the Adolescent Coping with Depression Course, which has been shown effective. Unfortunately, this face-to-face cognitive-behavioral group course did not sufficiently reach the target group. At the same time, research showed that many young people wanted types of online help that were not available at that time. For this reason, almost seven years ago, the Trimbos-institute joined with three Dutch mental health organisations to adapt the ‘Master your mood’ face-to-face group course for online delivery. In the following years, Master Your Mood Online has been evaluated and further developed. By now, Master Your Mood Online has been broadly implemented and a randomized controlled trial is running so the effectiveness of this intervention can be proven. Different kinds of recruitment channels have been used and evaluated. The continuous process of further development, research and implementation that Master Your Mood Online is going through, is discussed in this article. The insights can be used for the development and sustainable implementation of a whole range of group services via the internet in the future.