The global impact of Komodo
*Statistics in this article represent the findings in the last 12 months of data collected in Komodo schools based internationally.
Mental health concerns are the leading threat to youth in terms of their wellbeing and overall health globally (McGorry, Mei, Chanen, Hodges, Alvarez-Jimenez, Killackey, 2022). Youth between the ages of 10-24 years comprise a quarter of the world’s population, with 1 in 7 10-19 year-olds experiencing mental health concerns globally (WHO, 2021). Concerns, such as anxiety and depression, contribute to leading causes of illness amongst children and adolescents. It is estimated that 3.6% of 10-14 year-olds and 4.6% of 15-19 year-olds live with an anxiety disorder, and an estimated 1.1% of 10-14 year-olds and 2.8% of 15-19 year-olds live with depression (WHO, 2021). With these reports it is no wonder it is becoming increasingly crucial to gain understanding and find ways to effectively support young people’s mental health long-term (McGorry et al., 2022).
With this in mind, what are the consequences of overlooking the need to provide intuitive and accessible tools? In the immediate, adolescents struggling with mental health challenges can experience a range of negative impacting factors. These can include low physical health, ostracism or judgement from peers, academic difficulties, risk-taking behaviours, and can develop internal stigma which reduces the likelihood of reaching out for help (WHO, 2021). Long term challenges from mental health conditions may extend into adulthood, affecting individuals both physically and mentally, and reducing opportunities for positive outcomes within their lives (WHO, 2021).
So how do we bridge the gap between youth and access to positive mental health tools?
Today’s children and adolescents have grown up with technology, and as a result it is an interwoven tool within their daily lives, often an extension of themselves. Whilst there has been a large increase in desires to provide access to mental health support, this surge is limited by access to funding, available clinicians, and the individuals’ understanding of their own emotional needs. Clearly, there is a modern day need for alternative ways to understand child and adolescent wellbeing that is both relatable and accessible for the youth population across the globe (Butler, Quigg, Bates, Jones, Ashworth, Gowland, & Jones, 2022; McGorry et al., 2022).
The school environment is influential in youth development and can be a prime space for educating and promoting mental health and wellbeing topics (McGorry et al., 2022). Within the education setting, students experience peer relationships, a sense of belonging within the school, increase resilience, and foster supportive teacher-student relationships (Butler, 2022). It has been found that when students feel supported by their teachers, there are observed improvements in multiple protective factors including academic performance, sense of meaning, problem-solving skills, independence, and social skills (Butler, 2022). Additionally, by adopting a whole-school approach to emotional skill building, there have found to be positive impacts in student mental health and wellbeing (Barker, Hartwell, Bonell, Egan, Lock, Viner, 2022).
So with all the data, research and information available, how can Komodo help?
Komodo is the student-driven data platform that measures wellbeing across time and multiple areas, providing students and schools with insight into the wellbeing experience. Komodo aims to guide schools and students to understand areas of strength and difficulty, and to facilitate up-skilling and positive changes for the long-term. Komodo is dedicated to providing a unique, wrap-around support in the wellbeing journey in the form of our dedicated School Success Team and a team of Psychologists.
From the Komodo platform we have evidence that we are having an impact in school-wide wellbeing. Komodo has sent out around 160,000 wellbeing surveys globally across 10 countries in the past year. From these surveys there have been:
- Just over 3,900 total wellbeing check-ins prompted from the Komodo platform. Each of which have provided the opportunity for teachers to be informed of a students’ need for support.
- Of this, just over 400 were student-requested check-ins, highlighting the students’ own desire for help and connection with teachers.
- Additionally, over 3,400 of the total check-ins were generated through Komodo’s intelligent software, which is designed to observe shifts in student wellbeing profiles, notifying staff of declines in student wellbeing and prompting a student-teacher check-in.
When examining the data, it is evident that there has been an increasing trend of student-requested check-ins. These numbers are promising as they demonstrate Komodo’s ability to reduce barriers for students when reaching out. A key question from this data is:
What happens with the generated check-ins, how is this beneficial?
Of the student-requested check-ins, 72% were followed up by staff. This highlights the potential for connections made through the Komodo platform to students who need wellbeing support.
The Komodo platform provides students with an opportunity to provide context on their wellbeing through the use of comments in the Feed function. Alongside wellbeing check-ins prompted, just over 5,000 students left comments in the feed to further connect with their teachers.
What does this trend suggest?
From the data, there is an evident increasing trend in the use of the comment feed by students, suggesting high student engagement and trust in the platform, as well as demonstrated ability to reflect further on their own emotions and needs, and productivity in connecting with trusted adults at school.
When taking the above research and knowledge around the prevalence of youth mental health and wellbeing, it is evident that it is a crucial area which requires attention and intervention to encourage positive outcomes. In a modern-day setting, with children and adolescents experiencing a multitude of challenges to their mental health, it is important now more than ever to provide students with the means to access support and an opportunity to increase emotional intelligence around their own wellbeing. Komodo seeks to be a platform that is mobile, accessible and relevant in the realm of youth mental health and wellbeing.
- Barker, R., Hartwell, G., Bonell, C., Egan, M., Lock, K., & Viner, R. M. (2022). Research priorities for mental health in schools in the wake of COVID-19. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 76, 448-450.
- Butler, N., Quigg, Z., Bates, R., Jones, L., Ashworth, E., Gowland, S., & Jones, M. (2022). The contributing role of family, school, and peer supportive relationships in protecting the mental wellbeing of children and adolescents. School Mental Health, 14, 776-788.
- McGorry, P. D., Mei, c., Chanen, A., Hodges, C., Alvarez-Jimenez, M., & Killackey, E. (2022). Designing and scaling up integrated youth mental health care. World Psychiatry, 21(1), 61-76.
- https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/adolescent-mental-health 17 November 2021