The Evidence Based Practice Unit was commissioned by Tellmi to examine young people’s views and experiences of the Tellmi app, with a focus on engaging with those from marginalised groups.
Tellmi is a fully moderated peer support app designed to enable young people to safely share problems and offer support to their peers. We also examined views on Tellmi Data Insights and how these are used to better support students. Tellmi Data Insights are reports sent to schools which detail information on the mental health and wellbeing of their students. This data, which includes the topics young people are speaking about on the app, is anonymous.
Our evaluation utilised a qualitative methodology. It involved semi-structured interviews with young people attending secondary schools in London in which Tellmi had been introduced. We were pleased to speak young people from a variety of backgrounds that are typically underrepresented in research. We also carried out interviews with staff working in education and mental health, and more informal consultations with groups that had not been represented in the initial sample. Data collection took place in January 2022.
We used thematic analysis to identify common themes that young people spoke about during interviews. We found that young people from groups that are typically underrepresented in research expressed positive views about both the Tellmi app and Tellmi Data Insights. The app was seen as a useful resource, as long as young people’s concerns regarding issues such as hate speech were adequately addressed. Participants felt that the reports have the potential for widespread impact, provided that Tellmi guide schools in how to interpret them.