Orygen’s digital mental health care platform, MOST, is being extended to young people in the national capital thanks to a $7.5m funding boost.
The investment was announced by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr as part of a mental health package to support young people and their families.
MOST, or Moderated Online Social Therapy, gives young people aged 12 to 25 on demand access to tailored online therapy, tools and programs guided by clinicians, vocational specialists and trained peers with lived experience of mental ill-health.
It integrates with the clinical care young people receive, or are waiting to receive, at state-funded child and adolescent youth mental health services and participating headspace centres.
MOST is currently available to young Victorians through 95 per cent of Victorian headspace centres and specialist youth mental health services. It was implemented to boost face-to-face support as part of the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 mental health care response last year.
The Queensland Government is launching a two-year pilot program for young people in the Sunshine State, while the New South Wales Government recently made an $1.5 million commitment to provide MOST to young people in that state.
The ACT announcement means the MOST model of care could soon be accessible to young people right along Australia’s mainland eastern seaboard.
Acting director of Orygen Digital Jon Myer welcomed the funding announcement, which meant MOST would be available in Canberra within months.
“Having an extra tool like this can really help the whole system, which is straining under demand, and we expect thousands of young people in the ACT to be accessing additional care and support when we launch MOST,” he said.
“We hope this is something that's going to be available beyond lockdowns and beyond the challenges of COVID-19. We hope it’s there for young people in the ACT for many, many years.”