Big things ahead for Mental Health Research in 2019
Published: 3 January, 2019
We're excited to embark on another year full of discoveries and innovation for better mental health. Here are some of the big-ticket items to look out for!
Future Proofing Study to launch over 5 years
The Future Proofing Study aims to prevent depression and anxiety in young people. The ground-breaking initiative will engage 20,000 Year 8 students and follow them over a five-year period to discover how to use smartphones to deliver preventive interventions on a large scale. Comprehensive, technology-assisted data collection and analysis will also help to determine what triggers the development of mental health symptoms. During adolescence, 50% of all mental health problems emerge with potentially lifelong consequences.
Creating Mentally Healthy Workplaces across NSW
We are working alongside NSW Government to provide free mental health training for 3,600 managers working in high risk industries across Sydney Metro and Gosford/Wyong areas. Mental illness is the leading cause of sickness absence and long-term work incapacity in Australia costing Australian businesses around $11 billion each year. The training is geared to help managers develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to support their teams, design work spaces which promote wellbeing and prevent factors that impact mental health.
Exercise your mood – first week of May
Exercise Your Mood is the Black Dog Institute’s national awareness and fundraising initiative. The campaign runs during the first week of May and is a time where we encourage Australians to get active and talk about the importance of regular exercise not only for maintaining physical health, but good mental health too. In 2018, 841 community fundraisers signed up to do their bit to promote good mental health as well as raise much needed funds. With their help we were able to reach over 5,000,000 people encouraging them to exercise their mood. This May there are even more ways you and your community can get involved to exercise your mood.
iBobbly version 2.0
iBobbly is the world’s first suicide prevention app for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. It was developed by and for Indigenous Australians and is based on psychological therapies proven to reduce distress and suicidal thinking. It is free and confidential, and once downloaded can be accessed anytime of the day without the need for ongoing internet connection. The first version of the app was tested by 61 community members in the Kimberley and found to reduce symptoms of depression and distress. In April 2019, we will be sharing the results of the current research study, examining the effectiveness of a new and improved version of the app across several sites in Australia including the Kimberley (WA), northern NT, Darling Downs (QLD), Hunter New England (NSW), Wagga Wagga (NSW) and La Perouse (NSW). We hope to launch iBobbly so we can provide accessible and culturally relevant online mental health support to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
HeadGear is a smartphone app-based intervention that aims to prevent mental illness and increase wellbeing in employees. Apps provide efficient ways to overcome many common obstacles that workers, particularly those working in certain high-risk industries, face through traditional delivery methods. HeadGear combines two therapies that have been shown to be effective in improving symptoms in common mental conditions. It was co-designed by mental health experts and end users from a range of male-dominated industries. The first version of the app was trialled by 85 users and found that using the app was associated with decreases in depressive symptoms and overall sick days. This year, the outcome of a larger study testing the newly developed HeadGear app in over 3,000 working Australians will be released and will confirm the efficacy of the app in preventing depression in the workforce.
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)