Young adults aged 18–25 whose parents have a mental illness or substance use problem can be vulnerable to multiple difficulties in adulthood. There are, however, few available interventions designed for this group. This study evaluated a 6 week online intervention (mi. spot; mental illness: supported, preventative, online, targeted) specifically designed for this population. The intervention aims to improve mental health and wellbeing.
Forty-one young people, recruited from the community, participated in a two-arm parallel randomized controlled trial where participants were randomized to mi. spot (n = 22) or a wait list control group (n = 19). They were assessed at baseline, immediately post intervention and at six weeks post intervention with measures covering depression, anxiety and stress, wellbeing, coping, general self-efficacy, help seeking and social connectedness.
Intervention participants reported significantly improved psychological wellbeing, coping, general self-efficacy, and a reduction in anxiety. Participants in the control group reported significant improvements in emotional wellbeing and help seeking and a reduction in self-blame.
This pilot controlled trial supported previous findings and shows preliminary evidence that mi.spot is effective for young adults who grew up with parents who have a mental illness or substance use problem. A large-scale, randomized controlled trial with a diverse group of young people is needed.