A Digital Single-Session Intervention Platform for Youth Mental Health: Cultural Adaptation, Evaluation, and Dissemination

Akash Shroff, Chantelle Roulston, Julia Fassler, Nicole A. Dierschke, Jennifer San Pedro Todd, Ámbar Ríos-Herrera, Kristen A. Plastino, Jessica Lee Schleider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Despite the proliferation of evidence-based digital mental health programs for young people, their low uptake and inconsistent implementation preclude them from benefiting youths at scale. Identifying effective implementation strategies for evidence-based supports is especially critical in regions where treatment access is lowest owing to mental health provider shortages. Objective: The goal of this academic-community partnership, funded by the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, was to culturally adapt, disseminate, and gauge the acceptability and utility of an evidence-based digital mental health platform—Project Youth Empowerment and Support (YES)—among English- and Spanish-speaking youths living in south Texas. Methods: Project YES is an open-access, anonymous platform containing 3 evidence-based, self-guided interventions for youth mental health. Project YES was culturally adapted via focus groups and co-design sessions with San Antonio youths with lived experience of depression and anxiety; translated into Spanish; and disseminated throughout San Antonio, Texas, via community and school partnerships. Results: During the project period (April 2021 to December 2021), 1801 San Antonio youths began and 894 (49.64%) of them completed a 30-minute, single-session intervention within Project YES (aged 11-17 years; n=718, 39.87% male; n=961, 53.36% female; and n=3, 0.17% intersex; n=1477, 82.01% Hispanic; n=77, 4.28% non-Hispanic White; n=113, 6.27% Black; n=28, 1.55% Asian; and n=93, 5.16% other). This completion rate (49.64%) surpassed those previously observed for Project YES (eg, 34% when disseminated via social media). San Antonio youths rated Project YES as highly acceptable across all metrics, both in English and Spanish. In addition, the youths who completed Project YES—ENGLISH reported significant improvements in hopelessness (Cohen d=0.33; P<001), self-hate (Cohen d=0.27; P<001), and perceived agency (Cohen d=0.25; P<001) from before to after the intervention, and the youths who completed Project YES—SPANISH reported significant improvements in self-hate (Cohen d=0.37; P=.049) from before to after the intervention. Conclusions: The results indicate that Project YES—an open-access, free, and anonymous web-based single-session intervention platform—is an acceptable, accessible, and applicable mental health support for English- and Spanish-speaking San Antonio youths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere43062
JournalJMIR Mental Health
StatePublished - 2023


  • adolescents
  • cultural adaptation
  • mobile phone
  • single-session intervention
  • web-based intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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