Walk the Talk: An online program for young people who are unemployed


We would like to invite you to participate in a study to help us investigate the effectiveness of an online program called Walk the Talk in improving the mental health of young people who are unemployed.

This study is being conducted by the Centre for Health Research at the Western Sydney University, in partnership with USNW Australia, and is funded by Australian Rotary Health. The researchers on this study are Dr Vanessa Rose and Professor Janette Perz from the Western Sydney University.

To help you decide if you want to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being conducted and what it will involve.

What is this study about?
The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of an online, self-directed program called Walk the Talk in improving the mental health of young people who are unemployed. The Walk the Talk program consists of 4 video modules, activities, downloadable worksheets, website links and tips to help you with interviews, cold calling and looking for work. We hope to learn if the program is useful for young people in staying mentally healthy, job searching and gaining employment.

Who are we looking for?
You can take part in this study if you are:

  • Aged between 17 to 25 years
  • Are looking for full-time work
  • Have access to a desktop computer, smartphone or tablet, an internet connection and an email account
  • Are willing and able to complete English-language materials
  • Live in Australia

Do I have a choice?
Participation in this study is voluntary. You can withdraw your consent to take part at any time. Withdrawing from the study will not affect your current or future relationship with Western Sydney University, UNSW Australia, or with any of the members of the research team.

What is my role?
If you decide to take part in the study, we will ask you to:

  • Complete surveys at 3 time-points across (approx 20 minutes each time)
  • Watch 4 video modules (approx 90 minutes duration in all)
  • Complete online activities to check your understanding
  • Read and use the other materials (eg websites and worksheets) to support your learning

How much time will this study take?
Each Walk the Talk module will take up to 40 minutes to go through (i.e. watch the video, look at the other materials, do the activities). You can re-watch the videos and read the other materials as much as you like once you have access to the program.

Will taking part in this study cost me anything?
Participating in this study will not cost you anything. In addition to providing access to the online program, we will also give you an information pack with additional materials to support you in your job searching.

Are there any benefits?
Groups who have taken part in the face-to-face version of the Walk the Talk program have reported improvements in mental health, confidence in job-seeking and opportunities for employment. We hope that you will find the program useful but we cannot guarantee that it will benefit you in any way.

Are there any risks?
The scripts for the videos you will watch were workshopped with young people who were unemployed (even though older actors play some of the roles). This means the videos show real situations in unemployment and finding work. Some people may find the situations shown in the video temporarily upsetting (e.g. such as not having much money for the week) and this is normal.

What if I feel depressed?
Research shows a link between unemployment and depression. If you feel very upset, distressed or depressed for more than two weeks, please contact your GP, mental health professional, nearest headspace clinic: http://www.headspace.org.au/headspace-centres (opens in a new window) or the study principal investigator, Dr Janette Perz at j.perz@westernsydney.edu.au. Alternatively, please see below for some numbers that you can call for help. Trained staff are ready to take your call and provide the appropriate service to you:

  • Lifeline Australia (13 11 14) – 24 hour service
  • The Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) – this is a telephone service for young people aged 5-25 years

Confidentiality / Privacy
Any identifiable information collected about you in connection with this study will be confidential. Only the named researchers and personnel attached to this study will have access to your details, and results will be held securely at Western Sydney University.

What will happen with the  results?
We plan to put a summary of results from this study on this website and the Walk the Talk Facebook page. We also plan to publish the results of this study in academic journals, conferences and e-newsletters. In any publication, you or your information will not be able to be identified.

This study has been approved by the Western Sydney University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC H10672). If you have any concerns about the conduct of this study, or your rights as a study participant, you may contact the Ethics Committee through the Research Ethics Officer on (02) 4736 0229, or email humanethics@westernsydney.edu.au.

Contact details
If you would like to know more about this study, please email the research team at walkthetalk@westernsydney.edu.au.

If you have read the above information about this research project and are happy to participate, please read the consent declaration below and select the relevant button below to continue. Thank you.

Consent to participate in research

  • I acknowledge that I have read, or have had read to me, the Participant Information Sheet relating to this study. I acknowledge that I understand the Participant Information Sheet. I acknowledge that the general purposes, methods, demands and possible risks and inconveniences which may occur to me during the study have been explained to me. I acknowledge that I understand the general purposes, methods, demands and possible risks and inconveniences which may occur during the study.
  • I acknowledge that I have been given time to consider the information and to seek other advice.
  • I acknowledge that refusal to take part in this study will not affect me in any way, nor will it affect my relationship with the researchers, Western Sydney University or UNSW Australia now or in the future.
  • I acknowledge that I am volunteering to take part in this study and I may withdraw at any time.
  • I acknowledge that this research has been approved by the Western Sydney University Human Research Ethics Committee.

I understand that my identity will not be disclosed to anyone else or in publications, presentations or potential future research. Any data reported will be based on aggregates and will not reveal the identity of any specific individual.

If you consent to participate, please continue to the survey.