Our study had two goals: a) to adapt an online, wellness single-session intervention (SSI) tailored to Greek adolescents' needs, b) to assess the SSI’s appropriateness and acceptability, and c) to evaluate the impact of the SSI on depression, anxiety, and subjective well-being by conducting a school-based randomized control trial. To conduct this project, we collaborated with the National Kapodistrian University of Athens and the University Mental Health Research Institute in Greece.
We adapted the “Common Elements Toolbox” (COMET), an online SSI previously developed for undergraduate students, which includes four evidence-based modules: cognitive restructuring, gratitude, behavioral activation, and self-compassion. Participants were Greek high school students from Athens, Greece. Each participant was randomized to complete either the COMET modules or a control condition focused on self-awareness exercises.
Our results reveal that the SSI was well-received, culturally-appropriate for Greek adolescents. It could improve students’ sense of control and adjustment in challenging situations. Data collection for follow-up evaluations (i.e., depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and subjective well-being) is ongoing. After all follow-up data have been collected, the results of the completed trial will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the SSI. If the SSI is found to be effective, Greek schools could apply it to increase access to mental healthcare, pending completion of the larger trial.
Creating a well-received, brief online intervention that could address barriers to treatment, such as high costs and stigma, consolidated my interest in digital mental health and implementation science. Our team will continue improving the intervention in future trials. Additionally, working on a multisite project not only expanded my skills in psychological research, but also taught me to work in diverse, multicultural teams. As a result of this experience, I solidified my interest in pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. This study was made possible by the generous grant from the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.