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ProYouth: Prevention of Eating Problems & Promotion of Mental Health
ProYouth offers free, anonymous, online support and help for people concerned about weight, shape, dieting, anorexia, bulimia, and other problems related to eating disorders in young people
ProYouth is a free, flexible program acknowledging that young people have largely varying needs for information and support related to mental health issues. While one person may only use the platform to seek general information about mental health, wellbeing, or eating disorders without being affected by mental health problems himself or herself, another may use ProYouth for professional support or to look for treatment options. Based on the heterogeneity of problems we leave it to the individual participant to use the platform to the extent and for the duration that he or she considers appropriate. ProYouth offers help and support to young people in an anonymous, online environment.
ProYouth may be most appropriate for young people who have a risk for the development of an eating disorder.
Based on the initial self-test that you complete you receive a feedback commenting on your individual risk for development of an eating disorder and / or symptoms of the illness that you might currently experience.
However, participation is free for everyone- you should look for the parts of the program that are most interesting or helpful for you.
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The starting point for ProYouth is the screening questionnaire that you have completed before registration to the program. The questionnaire assessed your individual risk for developing an eating disorder and asked you about different symptoms that would indicate problematic eating behaviors or the presence of an eating disorder. Following completion of the questionnaire, you received a feedback indicating whether or not your answers indicate need for support.
The central module of ProYouth is a program to monitor the course of relevant symptoms and behaviors that may change over time (e.g. your wellbeing related to your body, shape and weight and your dieting behavior). Directly after every entry, you receive an automatic reply by email, which gives you information about your changes compared to the previous assessment and about potential problematic areas. The information you enter to the monitoring system is accessible to the ProYouth online counselors.
In the ProYouth-Forum, you can exchange information about different issues and share your thoughts with your peers. Diverse main topics are defined under which you can post your contributions. The forum is moderated by the ProYouth-Team. This means that all contributions are read and positive communication amongst participants is promoted. This also means that any questionable (e.g., aggressive or pro-anorexia) statements will be deleted from the forum.
- Group consultation chat
The ProYouth online counselors offer appointments on a regular basis, in which you can meet with other participants in a chat room. No appointment is necessary to participate. Appointments can be viewed under the menu "Chat". The 90-minute group consultation chats provide the opportunity to clarify questions with the counsellor and to discuss issues with other participants.
- Individual consultation chat
In addition to the group chat, you are also able to meet one-on-one with a counselor of the ProYouth-Team in a chat room to discuss individual questions or problems. Individual consultation sessions last 30 minutes. In order to participate, it is necessary to reserve an appointment. You find the available appointments by clicking on the menu item "Chat".