Online innovation supports the mental health of young Victorians

Online innovation supports the mental health of young Victorians

13 July 2020

A digital mental health platform developed by Orygen researchers, which provides targeted, clinician-supported, personalised therapy to young people who are experiencing mental ill-health, was today launched by the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley.

The online platform, called MOST (Moderated Online Social Therapy) delivers young people with access to tailored online therapy, clinician and peer support, when and where they need it.

Professor Mario Alvarez-Jimenez, who leads the team that developed the platform, said the platform was an essential part of the response to the mental health challenges being experienced by young people as a result of the uncertainty and physical isolation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“MOST delivers a range of advanced online treatment options that are customisable to the needs of individual young people and are fully integrated with the face-to-face clinical care a young person is receiving,” he said.

“The platform also includes a social networking aspect that connects young people facing the same challenges and enables them to support each other while accessing support from peer and clinical moderators.”

In April the Victorian Government, as part of its coronavirus mental health package, provided $6 million to Orygen to roll-out MOST across state-funded child and adolescent youth mental health services and all Victorian headspace centres

The platform is now being made available to young people in the north and west of Melbourne who are clients of Orygen and will shortly be available to clients of the five headspace centres Orygen operates in Craigieburn, Glenroy, Melton, Sunshine and Werribee.

Young people who live in public housing will also be among the first to benefit from access to MOST, with tenants able to be referred directly by their headspace or mental health clinician.

Development of the MOST platform has been led by Professor Alvarez-Jimenez and his team over the past 10 years. Designed with, and for, young people and youth mental health services, MOST provides services and clinicians with evidence-based tools that can be used across the mental health diagnostic and severity spectrum and all stages of treatment.

It will be progressively rolled out across the state to all 28 Victorian headspace centres and 14 state-funded specialist youth mental health services by mid-2021.

Learn more about MOST