Originally aired on October 4, 2023
In this episode of the Wondros Podcast, host Jesse and Priscilla welcome guest Dr. Jessica Schleider to discuss the effectiveness of single-session mental health interventions. They explore the history of mental health care and the growing need for accessible treatment options, particularly for young people. Dr. Schleider explains that single-session interventions have been around for a long time but are gaining more importance due to the increasing lack of access to traditional therapy. She shares insights from her research, including the power of brief moments of intervention and the themes that often arise in individuals’ turning points in their mental health recovery trajectories. The conversation also delves into the concept of a strength-based approach and the potential of single-session interventions to expand the mental health ecosystem and bridge gaps in traditional therapies. Dr. Schleider discusses her work with Coco, a digital mental health non-profit, and how they are embedding self-guided tools into online platforms to reach individuals where they are. Overall, the episode highlights the effectiveness and potential of single-session interventions to provide evidence-based and accessible mental health support.
The history and growing need for accessible mental health care
- Mental health care was originally intended for a select group of people or those institutionalized, leading to limited access for most of the population.
- 80% of children and adolescents with significant mental health needs have no access to treatment.
The concept of single-session interventions and its historical roots
- Single-session interventions have been around for a long time but have gained more attention in recent years due to access barriers.
- The emphasis is on providing support and assessment in a single session, acknowledging individuals’ existing strengths and coping skills.
Insights from Dr. Schleider’s research on turning points in mental health recovery trajectories
- Through interviews with individuals who experienced turning points in their mental health recovery, common themes emerged.
- Turning points often involved individuals surprising themselves, feeling seen and validated by others, reclaiming their narratives, and finding joy in giving back to others.
The impact of single-session interventions and their potential for expansion
- Single-session interventions have been found to be as effective as longer-term therapies in reducing symptoms.
- They can be delivered by professionals, peers, or through self-guided programs and online platforms.
- Single-session interventions offer opportunities for early intervention, empowering individuals, and addressing gaps in the current mental health system.
Application and implementation of single-session interventions
- Single-session interventions can be delivered through various channels, such as pediatric primary care, school partnerships, and community programs.
- Digital platforms, like Coco, provide accessible and personalized interventions by embedding self-guided tools and peer support into social media platforms.
Student contributions and innovative use of single-session interventions
- Students have played a significant role in developing and implementing single-session interventions for various populations.
- Examples include designing programs for parents to support their children’s mental health and addressing the needs of LGBTQ+ teens through a program called Project RISE.