2018 highlights from the Black Dog Institute
Published: 18 December, 2018
As 2018 comes to an end, we reflect on some incredible achievements at the Black Dog Institute this year.
A new world record was set in memory of Jase
Sydney man Ben Woods scored his spot in the Guinness World Records after an 18,922km cycle around Australia in honour of his brother, Jase. Ben's family, friends and supporters rallied together to make Ride for Jase a monumental success, which has raised over $383,400 for the Black Dog Institute. The funds will go toward research into mental illness and suicide prevention, resources and tools for the public, clinical services and education programs.
1,500 students took part in the World’s Largest Mental Health Awareness Lesson in Sydney
The Black Dog Institute joined forces with the NSW Department of Education and other mental health and youth organisations to break the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Mental Health Awareness Lesson. The lesson included information from the Black Dog Institute’s school programs and was livestreamed to more than 7,200 students from 80 schools across NSW.
The ACT LifeSpan suicide prevention trial launched
The ACT government announced its decision to take part in the Black Dog Institute’s Lifespan, Australia’s largest suicide prevention trial. The ACT Government has invested over $1.5 million to establish Lifespan’s innovative suicide prevention framework, which combines nine strategies for suicide prevention into one community-led approach.
Our volunteers delivered presentations to over 30,000 people
72 of our trained lived-experience volunteers delivered 364 community and school mental health presentations to 31,682 people. These presentations aim to reduce the stigma around mental health, increase understanding of mental health, and promote help-seeking, so thank you to everyone involved!
An Australian-first: “The Prevention Hub” launched
The Prevention Hub, Australia’s first and largest integrated research initiative into the prevention of anxiety and depression, was launched this year. The Prevention Hub saw two of Australia’s leading translational research institutes – the Black Dog Institute and Everymind – unite to create new world-leading solutions to mental illness.
MyCompass and BITEBACK both relaunched
Two evidence-based self-help resources – myCompass and BITE BACK – were revamped this year. Changes made to the online resources were informed by the needs of users with the aim of increasing the effectiveness and useability of the resources. myCompass has been clinically shown to help users with mild to moderate difficulties improve their mental health. BITE BACK has been shown to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety and increase wellbeing in young people, particularly those who used the website for more than 30 minutes per week.
Sleep Ninja success
Researchers at the Black Dog Institute have found promising results for the feasibility and efficacy of Sleep Ninja, a smartphone app designed specifically for addressing sleep issues in young people, from a pilot trial involving 50 adolescents. We found that after six weeks of using the app participants’ sleep improved and symptoms of depression decreased. 90% of users reported they would recommend Sleep Ninja to a friend. Feedback from participants has informed changes being made to Sleep Ninja to improve the app ahead of a randomised control trial planned for 2019.
To find out more about Black Dog Institute's research into mental health and wellbeing, visit the Research section of our website.
If you or someone you know is in crisis please call one of the following national helplines:
LIFELINE COUNSELLING SERVICE - 13 11 14
SUICIDE CALL BACK SERVICE 1300 659 467 (cost of a local call)