Information for parents

What is OLA?

It can be common for young people to feel distressed, some people may call this depression or anxiety. Young people who live in big cities more often experience stressful events such as conflict, poverty, substance misuse and social isolation. This includes young people in Latin America, which is one of the most urban part of the world. Although many individuals experience stressful events, many people do not develop mental distress, and when people do become distressed, half will recover within a year.

OLA therefore aims to identify resources that help young people to prevent or recover from mental distress, including depression and anxiety. We will focus on adolescents (aged 15-16) and young people (aged 20-24) who live in three large Latin American cities: Buenos Aires, Bogotá and Lima. We are keen to include both adolescents and young people who are currently experiencing symptoms of mental distress and those who are not.

What research activities are happening now?

The OLA study is a large research programme, which includes different activities that are being completed at different times. If your child is under the age of 18, they will need your permission to take part in the activities and you are free to choose whether or not your child takes part. Please take a look at the different activities that are happening now and contact us if you would like more information.

All research activities are planned to include face-to-face meetings with a member of the research team. However, due to the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, we may ask your child to complete questionnaires online and/or meet with researchers on a video or phone call instead.

Cross-sectional study

We invite adolescents and young adults to complete a series of questionnaires that we developed with other young people, adolescents and professionals during the first part of the study. Their answers will help us to identify which resources help young people to prevent and / or overcome mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.

Can my child take part?
Your child may take part if they:

  • Are between the ages of 15 and 16 or 20-24 years old.
  • Currently live in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Bogotá (Colombia) or Lima (Peru).
  • Have permission from a parent or caregiver to participate in the study (for under 18s only).

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