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- PublicationSearching for Mental Health: A Mixed-Methods Study of Young People's Online Help-seekingSeeking help is often an important step in addressing mental health difficulties. Evidence suggests that positive help-seeking experiences contribute to an increased likelihood of future help-seeking and achieving improved outcomes. However, help-seeking is a complex process. Alongside traditional sources, digital technologies offer many pathways to help. Using a mixed methods approach across two studies, this paper explores key design factors for online mental health resources that can support young people's help-seeking. First, a large online survey (n=1308) highlighted challenges and identified common help-seeking scenarios, including information-seeking, person-centred approaches and crisis situations. Using survey data, personas were developed to represent different help-seekers - each characterised by a particular help-seeking scenario. The personas were then used in co-design workshops to facilitate further exploration of help-seeking needs. Four key design considerations were identified: connectedness, accessible information, personalisation, and immediacy. Based on our findings, we provide design recommendations that are grounded in existing theories of help-seeking.
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