National assessment and e-health interventions for mental health problems among university students
The life transition between late adolescence and emerging adulthood is often troubled, with one in three university students showing symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, help-seeking behavior is low due to emotional and practical barriers, generating a treatment gap. The purpose of this project is to map Swedish university students’ mental health problems and deliver e-health interventions to those at risk. The project is organized in four work packages (WPs) over five years. An annual epidemiological survey targeting first-year students will map mental health problems and disorders, including suicidal thoughts and behaviors (WP1), and annual follow-up surveys will track participants’ developmental trajectories in terms of persisting problems and help-seeking behavior (WP2). Students identified as at-risk will be offered participation in a three-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT), delivering guided or unguided transdiagnostic e-treatment, or treatment as usual in a control group (WP3). At 5-week follow-up, participants at higher risk of failing treatment according to a precision treatment algorithm will be randomized to personally adapted e-treatment or continued WP3 treatment in a secondary trial-within-trial (WP4). The project builds on Swedish partnership with the WHO WMH-ICS 20-country international consortium. We envisage high potential for reducing mental health problems among Swedish university students, improving academic performance and reducing dropout.
About the Project
The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet)