Wiljer D, Abi-Jaoude A, Johnson A, et al. (2016). Enhancing self-efficacy for help-seeking among transition-aged youth in postsecondary settings with mental health and/or substance use concerns, using crowd-sourced online and mobile technologies: The Thought Spot protocol. JMIR Research Protocols. 5(4): e201. doi: 10.2196/resprot.6446
Researchers developed Thought Spot to be a crowd sourced website and mobile application (app) to help transition aged young people (16-29 years) to identify and access local mental health resources. College students were involved in the development of Thought Spot on open-source software. Groups of students were assigned to work on production, development, design, promotion, and knowledge translation of Thought Spot. The Thought Spot app was developed during a hackathon (i.e. an event where participants create code or improve software over a continuous period of time). The final Thought Spot platform allows students to search for and filter resources (Thought Spots) relative to their own location on a map. Thought Spot is intended to enable students to share information about their knowledge of resources, discover resources for themselves, develop peer networks, read reviews and comments about services from other students, and add new resources. Researchers described the protocol for a two-phase study of Thought Spot that optimizes the platform (phase one) and then evaluates impact in a randomized control trial (phase two). Phase one will involve transition aged young people to improve Thought Spot to better meet the needs of users, identify factors that evaluate uptake of Thought Spot, and assess feasibility, acceptability, and usability for the target population. Phase two will enroll transition-aged young people to use Thought Sport or receive usual care to evaluate the effects of Thought Spot on self-efficacy and intentions for help-seeking.