Presenter: Maddy Esterer

Originally Presented on Thursday, March 14th 2024 – 12:00-1:00pm Central Time (US and Canada)

Due to the various barriers that children and adolescents often experience when accessing in-person mental healthcare (e.g., stigma, transportation, cost, insurance), digital interventions have been identified as an alternate and promising modality to facilitate evidence-based intervention service delivery for young people. Youth digital mental health interventions (DMHIs) are defined in this presentation as publicly available, online self-administered modulated intervention programs that do not require an adult, such as a clinician or caregiver, to implement. This area of literature is rapidly growing and specifically supports the effectiveness of the modification of cognitive-behavioral therapy into a digital self-administered format. This presentation will outline the general evidence-base of youth DMHIs across school and clinical settings, with a focus on CBT-based DMHIs and general best practices based on the current state of the literature. Specific guidance will be provided regarding which subpopulations of children and adolescents may be good candidates for DMHIs, along with subpopulations with less evidentiary support. Additionally, this presentation will provide updated guidance for behavioral and mental health providers regarding how to use DMHIs within stepped models of care across various care settings (i.e., integrated pediatric primary care settings, schools, etc.). Further, this presentation will discuss practical considerations and limitations of using these tools in real world clinical and school settings, with step-by-step recommendations for ways to put these tools into practice. Finally, the DMHI literature will be discussed within the larger context of advances in the integration of psychological service provision and technology, along with the intersections of DMHIs and culturally sensitive behavioral and mental healthcare.