Hopefulness is arguably of central importance to the recovery of youth with major or complex youth depression, yet it is unclear how hopefulness can best be enhanced in treatment. A narrative synthesis of published and grey literature was combined with new insights from a youth lived-experience panel (N = 15), focusing on to what extent and how specific psychological therapies and standard mental health care scaffold hopefulness as applied to depression among 14–25-year-olds. Thirty-one studies of variable quality were included in this review; thirteen were qualitative, thirteen quantitative, and five used mixed methods. Hopefulness is an important active ingredient of psychotherapies and standard mental health care in youth depression. Evidence suggests talking and activity therapies have moderate to large effects on hopefulness and that hopefulness can be enhanced in standard mental health care. However, varying intervention effects suggest a marked degree of uncertainty. Hopefulness is best scaffolded by a positive relational environment in which there is support for identifying and pursuing personally valued goals and engaging in meaningful activity.
- Psychological therapy
- Youth mental health