08:00pm Sunday 20 October 2019

Text messages could beat depression in young jobseekers

QUT clinical doctorate candidate Jayne Orr from the School of Psychology and Counselling needs unemployed Australians aged 15 to 24 to help her find the best ways to use text messages to help young jobseekers remain positive and upbeat.

“We are investigating how we can help to build resilience among young job seekers so that they can bounce back from job knock-backs, and remain optimistic and positive despite the challenges of being unemployed,” Ms Orr said.

“In several states youth unemployment is more than 10 per cent. Not surprisingly, long-term unemployment has been linked to a 50 per cent increase in depression and other mental health problems in young people.

“These problems diminish jobseekers’ self-esteem and their motivation to keep on looking for work which in turn reduces their employment prospects, thereby creating a vicious cycle which increases jobseekers’ risk of developing depression and other mental health problems, and reduces their employment prospects even further.”

Ms Orr said she needed young unemployed people to fill in an anonymous online survey which asks about their experiences of being unemployed and looking for work, and their mobile phone ownership and usage.

“We also want to find out if jobseekers would like to receive regular, automatic text messages to keep them on the job search track or be able to request texts whenever they feel the need for a resilience boost, or take up both options,” she said.

“We’d like to know times when they would like to receive a positive text, such as just before or after a job interview, after hearing they’ve been turned down for a job, when they feel like giving up looking for work or when they are simply feeling down.

“We need the views of young unemployed people around the country to help us develop the SMS service that best meets their needs.”

“Every 50th unemployed jobseeker between the ages of 15 and 24 who completes the survey will receive a $30 Target voucher.

“The survey should take 10-20 minutes to complete and can be accessed at:

Media contact: Niki Widdowson, QUT, 07 3138 1841 or n.widdowson@qut.edu.au.

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