The passage from childhood to adulthood is undeniably complex, with a large number of children in New Zealand unable to make this transition easily, resulting in an unacceptably high rate of adolescent morbidity and a significant proportion of young people suffering from depression and other mental health disorders.
We recognise that no single intervention will address youth mental health issues. The need to build on existing interventions and trial new initiatives for young people in schools, online, in their families and communities and in the health system continues. SPARX is initiative 4 of the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project (YMHP) that provides a no cost, online and evidenced based e-therapy programme specifically tailored tor young people. The e-therapy programme focuses on the common problems of anxiety and depression.
SPARX is an interactive fantasy game that delivers cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and can be found on the SPARX website. It is not intended to replace therapy, counselling or medication and can be used alongside other interventions.
This evaluation aimed to assess the effectiveness of the SPARX roll out, evaluate the effectiveness of the service, whether the service reaches the target group and whether there are any opportunities for improvement. A logic model was developed to describe the planned inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes of SPARX. The model’s outcomes align with those of the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project.