PRESS RELEASE, 14/05/2024.

With the start of the European Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May), we are announcing our joint activity in the BootStRaP project countries.

A new, ground-breaking study using smart technology to boost mental health and combat the growing burden of problematic internet use has started. The BootStRaP project (Boosting Societal Adaptation and Mental Health in a Rapidly Digitizing Post-Pandemic Europe), running across 14 countries, uses Smart technology to address the risks of problematic internet use by young people.

The project scientists are eager to assist parents, guardians, teachers, and healthcare professionals in identifying risks and understand how they may lead to harm or poor health.

“The main goal of the project is to reduce the harmful effects of digitalization on young people’s mental health“, says project leader Professor Naomi A. Fineberg. “The online daily habits of young people will be investigated using a mobile application (app)”.

Young people will be directly involved in the co-creation of the app and in the research process of this study.

“We recruit several thousands of teenagers via schools across Europe to explore how they use the internet and how this relates to their wellbeing. We then formulate guidelines for healthier internet use (at www.internetandme.eu) and determine how behavioral changes can reduce risks and prevent problematic usage of the internet developing”, says professor Dr. Jose M. Menchon, a researcher leading the Societal and Policy Change working group in the project. “We aim to deliver global policy recommendations to address problematic use of the internet based on robust scientific evidence“.

FACTS:

  • An estimated 10% to 17% of the global population is affected by problematic use of the internet.
  • A range of online behaviours such as gaming, gambling, buying, pornography viewing, social networking, ‘cyber-bullying,’ and ‘cyberchondria’ are known to cause problems for individuals and their families owing to loss of control over online activity.
  • The World Health Organization recognizes online gambling, gaming and compulsive sexual behaviour as official mental health disorders.
BootStRaP is funded by the Horizon Europe program, the UK Research and Innovation program and the Swiss State
Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation.

For more information please contact:
Dr. Julius Burkauskas, Lead of Communication and Dissemination Team (WP5), Societal and Policy Change working group
julius.burkauskas@lsmu.lt / bootstrap@herts.ac.uk

News about the BootStRaP project spread around the world (updated 15/05/2024):
Australia   Scientists unite globally to tackle problematic internet use   https://www.nationaltribune.com.au/scientists-unite-globally-to-tackle-problematic-internet-use/
Australia   A pioneering study into problematic internet use among young people   https://www.4bc.com.au/podcast/a-pioneering-study-into-problematic-internet-use-among-young-people/
Australia   Scientists unite globally to tackle problematic internet use   https://www.qimrberghofer.edu.au/news/scientists-unite-globally-to-tackle-problematic-internet-use/
Gibraltar   University Of Gibraltar – Mental Health Awareness Week – Horizon Europe BootStRaP Project   https://www.yourgibraltartv.com/society/29333-university-of-gibraltar-mental-health-awareness-week-horizon-europe-bootstrap-project
Gibraltar   The University of Gibraltar is involved with international project addressing risks of problematic internet use by young people   https://www.gbc.gi/news/university-gibraltar-involved-international-project-addressing-risks-problematic-internet-use-young-
Hungary   International cooperation against problematic Internet use   https://www.ppk.elte.hu/content/nemzetkozi-osszefogas-a-problemas-internethasznalat-ellen.t.43506
Hungary   International cooperation against problematic Internet use   https://www.elte.hu/content/nemzetkozi-osszefogas-a-problemas-internethasznalat-ellen.t.30530
Hungary   International cooperation against problematic Internet use   https://hellosajto.hu/13507/nemzetkozi-osszefogas-a-problemas-internethasznalat-ellen/
Hungary   International cooperation against problematic Internet use   https://weborvos.hu/hirek/nemzetkozi-osszefogas-a-problemas-internethasznalat-ellen-284866
Italy   Internet addiction prevention: a presentation from Florence of the Horizon 2023-2028 project   https://portalegiovani.comune.fi.it/urlnews/news/20259.html
Italy   European Research for Action Against Internet Addiction in the Post Covid-19 Era   https://istitutodineuroscienze.it/en/blog/bootstrap-project
Lithuania   Smart technologies to address the challenges of problematic Internet use   https://lsmu.lt/ismaniosios-technologijos-probleminio-interneto-naudojimo-issukiams-spresti/
Lithuania   Smart technologies to address the challenges of problematic Internet use   https://sc.bns.lt/view/item/484271
Lithuania   Smart technologies to address the challenges of problematic Internet use   https://www.15min.lt/verslas/naujiena/bns-spaudos-centras/i-maniosios-technologijos-probleminio-interneto-naudojimo-i-kiams-spr-sti-484271
Lithuania   Smart technologies to address the challenges of problematic Internet use   https://e-etika.lt/ismaniosios-technologijos-probleminio-interneto-naudojimo-issukiams-spresti/
Spain   Young people, scientists, and technology experts unite across countries against problematic use of the internet – IDIBELL   https://idibell.cat/en/2024/05/young-people-scientists-and-technology-experts-unite-across-countries-against-problematic-use-of-the-internet/
Spain   Dr Menchón leads a European study to combat problematic Internet use among young people   https://bellvitgehospital.cat/es/actualidad/noticia/el-dr-menchon-lidera-un-estudio-europeo-para-combatir-el-uso-problematico-de
Spain   The Gregorio Marañón in Madrid, the only Spanish hospital that participates in a European study on problematic Internet use   https://www.epe.es/es/sanidad/20240514/gregorio-maranon-madrid-unico-hospital-europeo-estudio-uso-problematico-internet-102354353
Spain   El Marañón leads a European project in Spain against problematic internet use by young people   https://www.consalud.es/profesionales/hospital-gregorio-maranon-proyecto-europeo-uso-internet-en-jovenes_143830_102.html
Spain   Young people and scientists across 14 countries unite against problematic internet use   https://www.herts.ac.uk/about-us/news-and-events/news/2024/young-people-and-scientists-unite-against-problematic-internet-use
UK   European project to combat problematic internet use among young people   https://www.saludadiario.es/hospital/proyecto-europeo-para-combatir-el-uso-problematico-de-internet-entre-los-jovenes/