Advances in Mental Health, Vol 11, No 3 (2013)

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Can we text you? A qualitative exploration of young unemployed job-seekers’ attitudes to receiving resilience-building SMS messages

Jayne Alison Orr, Robert John King, Philippa Hawke, John Dalgleish

Abstract


A significant minority of young job-seekers remain unemployed for many months, and are at risk of developing depression. Both empirical studies and theoretical models suggest that cognitive, behavioural and social isolation factors interact to increase this risk. Thus, interventions that reduce or prevent depression in young unemployed job-seekers by boosting their resilience are required. Mobile phones may be an effective medium to deliver resilience-boosting support to young unemployed people by using SMS messages to interrupt the feedback loop of depression and social isolation. Three focus groups were conducted to explore young unemployed job-seekers’ attitudes to receiving and requesting regular SMS messages that would help them to feel supported and motivated while job-seeking. Participants reacted favourably to this proposal, and thought that it would be useful to continue to receive and request SMS messages for a few months after commencing employment as well.






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