e-Intervention

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Minder is an e-mental health and substance use app which we are currently developing for Canadian university students. University can be a challenging time whether it is your first year or you are close to graduation; this app is meant to provide evidence-based skills and information for any student who may be struggling, or just wants to build resiliency in their everyday life. We also understand how important it is for e-tools to link back to the real world, and so the app also seeks to connect students with appropriate services and student groups on campus and within the community. Once we complete all our stages of testing and feedback, we hope to offer this app for free to students.

App Development

Our team has the privilege of working closely with UBC students (including AMS) and other UBC teams (such as HEARTSMAP-U) to produce the Minder app. We believe that UBC students are well-suited for this co-development role as they understand both the needs of the student body, and the gaps in the current support systems at UBC. 
Student
Advisory Committee​
(SAC)

The SAC was created by mapping and reaching out to current mental health and substance use-related organizations at UBC. The committee has provided thoughtful feedback and guidance which has shaped the content, interface, and user experience of Minder.

Virtual Bootcamp

The Virtual Bootcamp will conduct a preliminary round of user testing with a new cohort of students in order to give us holistic feedback on the app and various components. It will encompass both anonymous surveys and focus groups. 

Expert Consultation

In addition to receiving student feedback from both the SAC and Virtual Bootcamp, the research team has been continuously engaging experts in the field of mental health disorders substance use, and digital tools. These experts, using their collective knowledge and experience, provide feedback on the suite of interventions offered in Minder.

As the project is now also examining the stress related to COVID-19, students have had a key role in reporting current challenges that the app needs to address. Since many in-person services have been temporarily suspended due to the pandemic, it is even more important to understand how online tools can be used to help students.
 
All of these factors translate into an app development process that is collaborative and dynamic in responding to new stressors that are being introduced to university life. Similar collaboration and development processes will be used at future sites where the app is launched so that the needs ot each university can be addressed.

Pilot Launch

In December 2021, the Student e-Mental Health Project launched a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) to test an early version of the Minder app with UBC students. Students were able to give valuable insight on how to improve the app, and our formal RCT launch will come soon!
Image from McMaster University