Mental Health Apps for Mild Psychological Distress Amongst Adolescents


University of Lincoln




Psychological Distress


Other: Mental Health Mobile Application

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


This study investigates mental health mobile apps, to understand their efficacy in reducing mild levels of psychological distress amongst adolescents. All participants will be provided with an app which is already available in the public domain, and will be asked to use the app for guided self-help. Half of participants will receive a weekly telephone call, whilst the other half will not.

Full description

The subscription version of the app "Sanvello" has several self-help exercises based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (to identify and challenge their thinking styles) and Mindfulness practices (to connect them with the present moment). Participants will be asked to complete these exercises on a daily basis for five weeks. Telephone calls will be provided weekly to half of participants to provide information about the app, or a rationale for its use. This phone call will not serve to provide any extra intervention or therapy to the participants.


5 patients




13 to 18 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Be aged 13-18 years, as the proposed research aims to investigate "adolescents".
  • Have capacity to give informed consent, to ensure the integrity of participants and prioritise their best interests.
  • Be awaiting input from the Healthy Minds Lincolnshire service, given the method of recruitment, prospective participants will be on a waiting list for the named service.
  • Be experiencing psychological distress, to fulfil the research aims.

Exclusion criteria

  • Accessing crisis support, to ensure that necessary support is not being withheld due to research participation.
  • They do not speak and understand English, to ensure the app-intervention and measures (which are in English) may be completed, and so interviews may be conducted without a translator.
  • They are unable to access or use a smart device, the internet, and the app, as they must be able to access a device daily and be technology literate to utilise the intervention.
  • For 13-15 year olds: parental consent must also be provided to take part. If this is not provided, they will be unable to participate. Those aged 16-18 years can provide consent for themselves.

Trial design

5 participants in 1 patient group

Assisted self-guidance
Experimental group
Participants will be asked to use the app for five weeks and will be contacted via telephone once a week by a researcher to provide a rationale for using the app, or to offer any information about the app itself. This will not be used to provide therapeutic intervention.
Other: Mental Health Mobile Application

Trial contacts and locations



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