Youth-centered digital health interventions in Norway
The Norwegian Directorate of health has worked over many years to better understand the needs of young people and figure out the best ways to promote better health. Young people need more digitalized access to both health promoting information and healthcare services. Online services lower the threshold for contacting healthcare providers, allowing young people to get to know the services on their own terms and at their own pace, and to benefit from a reassuring initial sense of anonymity.
Young people, particularly young men, struggle to relate to online content and services limited to health-related topics. Multifaceted lives and needs don't quite match sector-based services. The way young people feel at school, at home, in their own bodies and minds, in their free time, with their friends… it all hangs together and influences one another. In order to promote better health among young people, one must promote well-being through a much wider and cross-sectoral approach.
That is the mandate of the norwegian cross-sector collaboration program: DIGI-UNG. This program aims at coordinating health-promoting cross-sector digital interventions for young people aged 13 to 20 years in one place: www.ung.no
Young people can gain access to cross-sector information and services tailored to their age and needs. The goal of the program is to allow young people to read informative content, ask anonymous question to a nationwide interdisciplinary panel of experts, search for the closest help services, find certified apps and other digital self-help tools, chat with a wide-ranging group of volunteer organizations, book appointments with healthcare providers and carry-out virtual consultations. All in one place.