“The professional and helpful manner of all those we have dealt with at OMBEA, along with the key objectives we were looking to achieve, helped us settle upon the OMBEA solution.”* - Isle Listen team.
MCH Psychological Services has been providing psychological support for people in the Isle of Man for over thirty-five years. In 2019, they started the Isle Listen charitable initiative, focusing on the early intervention and prevention of mental health and wellbeing struggles in young people. They do this by conducting workshops and interactive sessions in schools.
While post-session feedback from teachers was useful, Isle Listen needed to hear from students themselves. They struggled to find a quick and easy way of capturing what students thought or were thinking at any given moment.
After comparing other digital data capture solutions, it was OMBEA that ticked all of Isle Listen’s boxes. The support given by the OMBEA team and the platform’s effectiveness at solving the problem convinced Isle Listen that OMBEA was the way to go.
As an evidence-based service, Isle Listen needed to understand the impact their sessions were having. To achieve this, they needed the following:
- Direct, anonymous feedback from students around specific mental health issues.
- To be able to capture and analyze feedback immediately after a session.
Prior to using OMBEA, Isle Listen relied on teacher feedback to assess the effectiveness of their programs. In any given school assembly or workshop, there would normally be a teacher present. After the session, the teacher would have a discussion with the students, and would then feed this back to Isle Listen.
While the feedback was useful, there were two main drawbacks.
First, the feedback was not coming directly from students. Because teachers had earned students’ trust, they served as middlemen between the students and Isle Listen. Even at times where Isle Listen was able to ask for feedback directly from students, it was not enough. As mental health is a sensitive issue, students were reluctant to participate. Even if they did, there was a risk that students only mentioned what Isle Listen wanted to hear.
Second, teachers were not always directly involved in the assemblies or workshops. With access to direct student feedback already compromised, this added another layer of uncertainty to the data. Teachers were unable to provide a real snapshot of students’ thoughts, and even if they did, the recollection was not immediately after the event.
“Our process would not be as defined, anonymous or accurate as we’d still be relying on teacher feedback and wouldn’t have that opportunity to engage with pupils directly.” - Isle Listen team.
After a quick Google search for digital data capture solutions, Isle Listen found OMBEA Insights. After a conversation with an OMBEA advisor, Isle Listen realized that the following combination would help them achieve all their objectives:
- OMBEA On-site module: 1 ExpressPod Smiley Terminal
- OMBEA Anywhere module: Dynamic link surveys shared through QR codes.
It didn’t take long for Isle Listen to get started. The team was up and running in days and equipped with OMBEA’s online and offline support resources.
The ExpressPod smiley terminal solves the problem of capturing feedback directly from students at just the right time. The Isle Listen team takes the ExpressPod with them to relevant sessions, and use it to:
- Ask specific wellbeing-related questions such as ‘How are you feeling?’
- Provide students the ability to vote for different mental health learning topics that they’d like more training and support on.
- Ask which part of the session they found the most beneficial.
With the Anywhere module, they give students the opportunity to leave more specific feedback should they wish to. For example, if a student isn’t feeling well, they are given an open-text question where they can talk more about the specifics of why they’re feeling that way.
“It has made our process much more effective and straightforward...OMBEA has allowed us to gather a level of more accurate and honest feedback that we have previously been unable to do.” - Isle Listen Team
Real student feedback. Because it’s easy for students to leave feedback, students really engage with the ExpressPods. What’s more, students know the feedback is anonymous, meaning there’s no reason for them to not take part. The anonymity of the data also makes the feedback honest, as students have no reason to lie when giving feedback.
Better services. Because they’re getting the raw, unfiltered opinions of students, Isle Listen can continuously track the wellbeing of students in the five schools they work with. Students themselves can also vote on what mental health topics they actually want covered, which helps Isle Listen tailor their resources accordingly.
Contributions to the greater good. At the time of writing, very little data exists in the Isle of Man public domain around mental health. The data Isle Listen is capturing, and the insights derived thereof, contributes to the publicly available knowledge base about mental health. This, in turn, is helping them create general awareness and understanding of mental health issues amongst young people.