$1.5m to assess the impact of digital mental health support for young people

$1.5m to assess the impact of digital mental health support for young people

2 May 2023

Orygen Digital will receive $1.5 million in funding through the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Partnerships Projects to assess the efficacy of digital mental health support for young people with mental ill-health.

Led by Professor Mario Alvarez-Jimenez and Dr Jennifer Nicholas, the funding will support the EVOLVE project to assess the impact of Orygen Digital’s world-leading online youth mental health intervention, MOST.

MOST, or Moderated Online Social Therapy, is a free digital mental health service for young people aged 12 to 25. Backed by 13 years of research and development, MOST was developed in close consultation with young people with lived experience of mental ill-health and their families.

It offers young people access to support from clinical and vocational experts as well as peers, along with tailored information and practical tools young people can use in their own time and space.

Professor Mario Alvarez-Jimenez, Chief of Orygen Digital, said our youth mental health services are struggling, and by enhancing services by integrating digital interventions we can help relieve some of this pressure.

“By improving access to digital support, we’re helping young people get the support they need whenever they need it,” he said.

Dr Jennifer Nicholas, NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow with Orygen Digital, said we need to step away from seeing technological change as a negative.

“Digital interventions are incredibly powerful in terms of mental health support for young people, if they are adequately resourced and funded,” she said.

MOST is now available through participating headspace and specialist youth mental health services in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.