Better L8 than never: Use of Mobile Phones Within Youth Mental Health

Poster C93, Wednesday, October 10, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Alana Scully1, Catriona Clerkin1, Rachel Morell1,2, Jackie Curtis1,2, Julia Lappin1,2; 1Early Psychosis Programme, The Bondi Centre, SESLHD, 2School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Australia

A previous descriptive project aiming to investigate whether mobile phones and text messaging could enhance engagement in an Early Psychosis Programme was conducted (Scully, 2014) with a view to improve engagement of young consumers. System issues and clinical governance policies meant that the project was unable to proceed due to risk concerns, despite previous research suggesting the use of text messaging enhances engagement with services, and is very rarely used inappropriately (Furber, 2011). This highlights the lag between best practice guidelines and usual care. Following a culture shift towards positive risk taking, this investigation has run in 2018. As noted in Scully, 2014, this project aimed to investigate whether the use of mobile phones to directly contact staff and consumers is able to enhance engagement, and is of perceived benefit to staff and consumers. Staff and consumers of an Early Psychosis and Youth Severe Early Intervention team were surveyed regarding their views on mobile use, and whether the ability to call/text directly would improve engagement and service provision. A six-month pilot study was conducted, where consumers were provided with a direct mobile number for clinicians. Consumers were informed of the appropriate use of and limits of mobiles, and risk management policies were implemented. Staff and consumer surveys were repeated at 6 months. It is hypothesised that having direct access to clinicians via mobile numbers will increase perceived availability and approachability of clinicians, and this would therefore enhance engagement with the service. Preliminary results will be presented.

Topic Area: Service System Development and Reform

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