Download Full Text (328 KB)
The global COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent quarantine measures had profound implications for the mental well-being of adolescents. Studies have shown that adolescents who received MRIs post-pandemic demonstrated more severe mental health problems (Gotlib et al, 2021). As of 2021, more than 36% of DC youth who have depression did not receive any mental health care (NAMI, 2021). These statistics underscore the urgent need to address the mental health challenges faced by teenagers, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds with limited access to mental health services (Mental health disparities: Diverse populations, 2017). In response to the downstream effects of COVID-19 on underrepresented adolescents' mental health, our program, Mind Match, offers a comprehensive approach. It incorporates a mental health curriculum, an online certificate program, and a peer mentorship program. These components are facilitated through an innovative mental health monitoring application called Here 4 You, which also serves as a centralized platform for mental health support. Underclassmen engage in self-directed lessons, while upperclassmen can choose to become certified mentors for their peers. To monitor progress, our app will include a quarterly survey assessing depression, anxiety, social connectivity, and mental health knowledge. We will track academic performance, attendance, and in-school health resource utilization. With adequate funding, our app has the potential to mitigate the adverse effects of COVID-19 on adolescent mental health, making it an invaluable addition to school environments.
Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health
Xinyuan Hu, Irene; King, Hoyt; Lynch, Samara; and Thomas, Nyla, "Mind Match: A Holistic App-Based Intervention for Post-Pandemic Adolescent Mental Health" (2023). DC Health and Academic Prep Program (DC HAPP). 17.