Our Generation - Developing an app to engender peacebuilding and resilient mindsets in young people

Colette Ramsey, Tara O'Neill, Siobhan O'Neill, Maurice Mulvenna, RR Bond, Edel Ennis

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

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Study Objectives
The effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and their negative impacts on mental health, self-regulatory capacities, education, employment, and crime have been well documented. Correspondingly, the multitude of harmful effects as a result of ACEs, may compound and increase maladaptive outcomes later in life, including suicidal behaviours. Recent research has suggested that building resilience may help reduce risk among those at risk of suicide, and the general population. Therefore, building resilience at a population level has the capacity to reduce the likelihood of a number of stress-related disorders and, consequently, self-harm and suicidal behaviours. Our work presented here reports on the research underpinning the development of an app to promote and evaluate evidence-based quality resilience-and peace building interventions by engaging children, young people and their key contacts in activities and games which build emotional resilience, self-awareness, and emotional regulation.
Methods and Materials
A monitoring and evaluation framework developed for the OUR Generation project was used to inform development of the app. This framework included 7 indicators identified from academic literature as contributors to emotional resilience and peacebuilding, including empathy, intergroup trust, mental health and well-being, perspective-taking, outgroup attitudes, intergroup contact and coping and problem-solving. Workshops were held with 6 groups of young people aged 8-23 years to explore ideas for the gamification of the app. An app developer was then enlisted to work within the guidance from the workshops and the indicator framework. Questionnaires completed at the end of each game will evidence changes in attitudes, knowledge, behaviours, and skills related to each of the 7 indicators, identified as contributors to improved mental health and wellbeing, emotional resilience, and peacebuilding.
Results and Conclusion
Evidence illustrates that resilience training and interventions, primarily those focused on the 7 indicators noted above, can work to support a decrease in psychological distress and increase suicide resilience. Broadening assessment of interventions beyond mental health measures, and beyond one population, has the potential to help illuminate specific avenues and recognise the risk and protective factors that contribute to the differential outcomes. This App will provide a population wide resource that can be used to improve resilience and peace building and evaluate changes in attitudes, knowledge, behaviours, and skills across these indicators through the gamification of interventions relating to these.

Note: The OUR Generation project is supported the European Union's PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB)
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 24 Aug 2022
Event9th European Symposium for Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour (ESSSB), 24-27 August 2022, Copenhagen, Denmark: ESSSB19 - Panum Building Blegdamsvej 3B DK-2200 Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 24 Aug 202227 Aug 2022


Conference9th European Symposium for Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour (ESSSB), 24-27 August 2022, Copenhagen, Denmark
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