World’s largest youth mental health survey kick off with a call to action for all young people!

September 05th 2018

World’s largest youth mental health survey kick off with a call to action for all young people!

Today, 5th September 2018, the largest ever study of Ireland’s youth mental health was launched by UCD in partnership with Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, with a call out to schools and educational institutions to get involved. My World Survey 2 will consult with more than 15,000 young people between the ages of 12 – 25 in order to build and improve our collective knowledge in the area of youth mental health. It follows on from My World Survey 1, a 2012 study by UCD and Jigsaw which, to date, remains the most significant study of its kind in Ireland.

Speaking at the launch, UCD Lead Researcher, Professor Barbara Dooley said “Repeat surveys, such as My World Survey 2, offer a distinct advantage over single cross-sectional surveys as they enable us to capture net effect changes. Net effect changes might be expressed as overall increase or decrease in behaviours such as the number of young people who report an intention to seek help for mental health problems they are experiencing. By repeating this research at a different time and asking similar questions, it enables us to collect information that can easily be compared. In this way, the findings from both waves of My World Survey can be used to inform and influence youth mental policy and practice in Ireland.”

My World Survey 2 aims to gain new insight into, and increase understanding of, young people’s mental health and wellbeing from a risk and protective perspective within their social context. Having a baseline from My World Survey 1 means that, for the first time ever, researchers will be able to comprehensively track changes, either improvements or deterioration, in young people’s mental health. Not only will these findings form the foundation of programme development for Jigsaw’s prevention and early intervention approach, but they can also be used to inform and influence youth mental health policy and practice in Ireland.

Jigsaw CEO Dr Joseph Duffy said, My World Survey 2 has the potential to protect and improve all our young people’s health and wellbeing; turning research, evidence and knowledge into action. It will be a seminal piece of work and we are delighted to join with UCD and ESB in driving Jigsaw’s evidence-informed agenda forward.”

“Collaborative, high-impact, research in the area of youth mental health is vital to future generations of Irish young people  and this is core to the ethos of ESB’s Energy for Generation Fund” said Jerry O’Sulivan, ESB’s Deputy CEO.

In formally endorsing My World Survey 2, Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D encouraged participation, particularly among third level institutions saying “This timely piece of research will be instrumental in building and improving our collective knowledge of the mental health of our students. I sincerely hope that all institutions of higher education will take part in this essential research, which will shape our thinking of mental health in higher education in the future.”

My World Survey 2 is a 15-month research project, launching this month, with data collection taking place between October 2018 – May 2019. Final results will be published in December 2019. To learn more or enquire about registration please contact myworldsurey2@ucd.ie