When the Southwest Regional Mental Health Board received a grant from the state’s Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services to develop a website for young adults dealing with mental health issues, the board turned to Taylor Design. The challenge was to create a youth-oriented, information-rich site that would guide young adults in finding the help they need to feel good about themselves—and their future. The new website, Turning Point CT, makes it easy for young people dealing with mental wellness to learn about the options available to them through Connecticut’s behavioral health system. It has proved to be both engaging and useful. In its first five months, Turning Point CT recorded 22,000 page views and averaged 900 unique visitors each month.
How Are Young People Served?
The website offers a user-moderated discussion forum that helps visitors connect with others struggling with forms of mental illness, including depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, mood swings, eating disorders, and substance abuse. An interactive “decision module” directs visitors to treatment models, community support organizations, and state and national resources.
The website is extremely attractive and compelling. We receive rave reviews on its look every time new users visit it, and it meets or exceeds all our expectations in terms of usability.
MARGARET WATT, MPH, MA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
SOUTHWEST REGIONAL MENTAL HEALTH BOARD, INC.
Do We Know It’s Working?
The Southwest Regional Mental Health Board tracks website utilization through Google Analytics and Google Grant Ads. For example, when they identified a dip in participation in the online forum, they recruited several young adult bloggers to generate thread content. The forum saw a 30% increase in subscribers as well as a large increase in website sessions and visitors. The board regularly convenes new advisory groups of young people who bring “new eyes” to the project and suggest improvements and additions. TurningPointCT.org provides a variety of ways for users to interact with it as they feel comfortable.