The PI is part of a team developing a web-based psychological and academic support system for students in Higher Education (MePlusMe).
Entering Higher Education (HE) is an exciting, yet challenging time. Students have a host of changes to manage, including making new relationships, living apart from friends and family, acquiring new study skills, and learning to function as independent adults. Several studies have indeed shown rising levels of anxiety and depression amongst HE students, compared to pre-university levels. Apart from severe mental health issues, mild to moderate psychological difficulties, which occur more frequently, can have a big negative impact on the life of students and often go undetected and unsupported. At the same time, the budget cuts of the HE Institutions (HEI) student support services (SSS) only add to the growing concern about the wellbeing of HE students.
Dealing with psychological and study skill difficulties can present a challenge for both Higher Education (HE) students, who suffer from them, but also for HE Institutions and their support services. Alternative means of support, such as online interventions, have been identified as cost-effective and efficient ways to provide inclusive support to HE students, removing many of the barriers to help seeking as well as promoting mental health and wellbeing.
In an attempt to meet this increased need for support for students with mild and moderate psychological as well as study skills difficulties, iConcipio developed an online support system designed specifically for HE students under the name MePlusMe. A rigorous approach to the development MePlusMe has been adopted. We have run a survey to ask end users what they like, a proof-of-concept study, we have published the protocol for a feasibility study, a review on other systems, as well as a paper describing our system. Next steps include a large-scale feasibility study and a randomized-control trial.
At the moment we are seeking to present the system to universities in order to receive funding or just collaborate in the feasibility study we are going to run soon.
Here you can find out more about the system and how it looks, including (here) a short video on the philosophy of MePlusMe.
Papadatou-Pastou, M., Campbell-Thompson, L., Barley, E., Haddad, M., Lafarge, C., McKeown, E., Simeonov, L., & Tzotzoli. P. (2019). Exploring the feasibility and acceptability of the contents, design and functionalities of an online intervention promoting mental health, wellbeing and study skills in Higher Education students. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 13 (1), 51, Doi: 10.1186/s13033-019-0308-5
Barrable, A., Papadatou-Pastou, M., & Tzotzoli, P. (2018). Supporting mental health, wellbeing and study skills in higher education: Αn online intervention system. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 12(1), 54. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13033-018-0233-z Goozée, R., Papadatou-Pastou*, M., Barley, E., Haddad, M., & Tzotzoli, P. (2018). Survey to inform the development of an online support system for higher education Students. Health, 10(03), 351. Doi: https://doi.org/10.4236/health.2018.103028
Papadatou-Pastou, M., Goozee^, R., Payne, E., Barrable, A., & Tzotzoli, P. (2017). A review of web-based support systems for students in higher education. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 11(1), 59. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13033-017-0165-z
Touloumakos, A. K., Goozée, R., Papadatou-Pastou, M., Barley, E., Haddad, M., & Tzotzoli, P. (2016). Online support system for students in higher education: Proof-of-concept study. Digital Health, 2, 2055207616655012. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/2055207616655012
Papadatou-Pastou, M., Goozée, R., Barley, E. A., Haddad, M., & Tzotzoli, P. (2015). Online intervention,‘MePlusMe’, supporting mood, wellbeing, study skills, and everyday functioning in students in higher education: A protocol for a feasibility study. BMC Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 1(1), 1-10. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-015-0029-8