Starting with an idea and a question to community stakeholders
Mutual learning and trust
Who is our primary target group?
What are our objectives and expected outcomes?
What functions and content should be prioritized?
Functions as presented to service users in PsyConnect
Main rationales from the team, with an emphasis on service user perspectives
What is important in my life:
Here you can write a brief statement about your values, or the things that matter most to you in your life.
Although several team members found the concept of values difficult pin down, they were inspired by literature that addressed values, or similar concepts such as purpose, meaning, hope. The value statement is visible on the opening page.
Here you can describe your current situation within different life domains (school/occupation, social life, mental and physical health, housing, finances). You can also describe what helps and hinders you in living as you would like.
This module departs from the original symptom-monitoring module found successful for cancer patients . Our service users argued that symptom monitoring would be unhelpful and “depressing” in bad periods. Instead, they held that free text options for describing their status in different life domains would not only help them gain better overview, but also facilitate constructive communication with providers.
Here you can list which prescribed and non-prescribed medicines you take, how they are intended to help you, your experiences with them, and notes or questions to your doctor.
Services users report uncertainties about their various medications, both prescribed and non-prescribed. Also, they often forget to broach their questions and concerns during consultations. The information in this module is accessible to providers only when the service user sends it as a message. (See next section about responsibilities.)
Here you can make a map of all the people you have a relationship with. You can change their placement on the map according to how close or distant a relationship you feel.
Service users have found paper drawings of networks to be valuable, particularly during lonely down periods. In PsyConnect, contact information is linked to each respective person in the map.
Here you will find different exercises that can help you strengthen your skills in areas that you might want to improve. The exercise categories are: coping, strengths, collaboration, and lifestyle. You can also make your own exercises, and ask to be reminded to do exercises according to your own schedule.
Service users find that having exercises to do between consultations is a good way to maintain focus. The categories and exercises mainly focus on building resources, although some support problem analysis. Services users and their providers select exercises and can design new exercises according to needs.
Here you can make an overview of warning signs or triggers and plan how you can prevent yourself from getting worse. You can also specify what you want your helpers to do if you experience an acute situation.
This is an online version of a paper-based form for crisis management that team members had positive experiences with. Service users believe that having the crisis management plan available online will make it easier for them to make relevant updates and, importantly, automatically update their helpers.
Here you can choose to register information about various aspects of your daily life, for example, sleep, nutrition, physical activity, social life, medications, and assessment of relations with helpers. If you make registrations over a period, you can create a graph to help you see how these aspects might be related to your health and well-being.
While researchers sought standardized registrations, service users wanted a simple selection of smiley-icons that depicted their mood at a given time, along with a free-text field for notes. Also, they view the incorporation of interactive lifestyle-related content to be an important dimension for mental health.
Goals and activities:
Here you can formulate goals that you want to work towards. You can also describe activities that can help you achieve these goals. If you want helpers to assist you, you can invite them to participate.
Service users have had good experiences formulating and working with goals and maintained that this was an important function. They wanted goals to be displayed as processes, organized thus: status (e.g. life domains) → process (e.g. activities, exercises) → goals.
Good to know:
Here you will find information about PsyConnect and how you can adapt it to your own needs and daily life. You will also find a list of links to articles and information about mental health and well-being. Short stories and articles from other service users are also found here.
It is important that the workspaces are not overloaded with information, although much is available through “read more” links. All available information has been assessed for quality and all sources are cited.
Here you can list contact information to your helpers and family.
This information is available to all those with access to the service user’s site. Service users decided that family members would only have access if service users allowed them to use service users’ personal ID.
Here you can communicate with your helpers in a secure way, and the content can be integrated with providers’ various electronic medical records.
This module was barely discussed as it is fundamental to the collaborative profile of the tool.
In the discussion forum you can anonymously meet other users of PsyConnect. There you can share experiences with others in similar life situations.
To underline the social support profile of this forum, it is only available to service users, although it is monitored by a health professional (who is not acquainted with the users).
This is your personal notebook where you can jot down thoughts, memories, or ideas. This might be useful in preparation for consultations, or for follow-up questions.
There were few discussions about this module since it was already available and believed useful by service users. It is not accessible to anyone but the user.