Social Media Interventions for Adolescents and Young People with Depression and Psychosis

  • Olga Santesteban-Echarri
  • Mario Álvarez-Jiménez
  • John Gleeson
  • Simon M. Rice


Internet use is pervasive among adolescents. In particular, the use of social networking sites (SNS) has become ubiquitous for adolescents, becoming the new context for social support and communication. While SNS likely have a range of benefits for adolescents, excessive use of, or dependence on, social media may increase the likelihood of negative outcomes such as distress, isolation, and low mood. This concern underscores the need to thoroughly understand social media use patterns of vulnerable adolescents experiencing mental health problems. Findings regarding the benefits and detrimental outcomes from social media use among at-risk adolescents are mixed. More recently, social media-based interventions that have targeted particular disorders by combining traditional online therapy with SNS have started to arise. These interventions aim to integrate social media use and deliver therapy to adolescents in a safe online context (e.g., free of cyberbullying). More generally, online interventions appear promising in reducing symptoms of depressive relapse among adolescents and young adults experiencing major depressive disorder, and also adolescents and young adults experiencing first-episode psychosis, although there is a lack of well-designed (i.e., randomized controlled) intervention studies using social networking in these populations. In this chapter, we briefly review key literature regarding social media use by adolescents diagnosed with depression and psychosis, we describe available social media-based interventions for these populations, and we highlight the next generation of clinical and research innovations within this rapidly evolving field.


Adolescent Computer-based communication Depression Internet Psychosis Schizophrenia Social media Social media-based intervention Social networking Young adult 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olga Santesteban-Echarri
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mario Álvarez-Jiménez
    • 1
    • 2
  • John Gleeson
    • 4
  • Simon M. Rice
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental HealthMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversitat Rovira i VirgiliTarragonaSpain
  4. 4.School of Psychology, Australian Catholic UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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