How could an evidence-informed postal subscription programme aiming to improve children's mental health and wellbeing work in practice?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
Difficulties impacting mental wellbeing often start in childhood, and universal prevention programmes are gaining attention as a scalable method to mitigate early risks. Send Me Sunshine is a grassroots initiative postal subscription programme for primary school-aged children, with activities designed to promote mental wellbeing. This study aimed to explore the feasibility, acceptability, and demand for this programme.

Method
A newsletter was sent to parents of the children in two primary school classes (n=60), inviting participation. A prototype pack was posted to those families who registered their interest. Children (n=15; Mage = 7.6 years) and their parents (n=15) gave feedback via online surveys. Deductive and inductive content analysis and descriptive statistics were used.

Results
The prototype postal pack was popular with both children and parents. Participants gave positive feedback about the content and format of the pack indicating good acceptability, and the postal approach showed feasibility. All parents said they would subscribe, and 87% would be willing to pay, suggesting promising demand. Improvements were suggested for future programme development.

Conclusion
This postal subscription wellbeing programme was feasible and acceptable in this study, and findings suggest it could work in practice. Empirical studies are now needed to see if it does work and has any effect or efficacy in maintaining or promoting child mental wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number200255
JournalMental Health & Prevention
Volume29
Early online date2 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Parent-child relationships
  • Promoting mental well-being
  • Public health
  • Scaling methods
  • Universal prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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