Helping young people manage anxiety, depression, substance abuse and sleep problems will be the focus of a new digital mental health platform.
Federation University Professor of Digital and Mental Health Britt Klein is part of a multi-university team awarded a $5 million grant to develop the platform.
"The advantage of digital mental health platforms is that we can now better reach all Australians regardless of circumstance and offer accessible forms of assessment and treatment," she said.
"This project will not only deliver a new digital model of care for Australian youth, but it will also deliver a new generation of mental health researchers mentored by established leaders in the digital mental health field."
Professor Klein said it will be a world first to have such a comprehensive integrated platform for youth mental health in development.
Australia is yet to develop, implement and test, a comprehensive digital model of psychological care for youth.
It is absolutely imperative we look at ways to improve mental health outcomes for young people.Professor Britt Klein, Federation University
Data shows 50 per cent of Australian youth afflicted with mental health problems receive help of any kind, and only two per cent receive specialist intervention.
Professor Klein said past research had found some people felt more confident and comfortable seeking out face to face services after connecting with online mental health services.
"By utilising digital intervention platforms, we can reach all Australians regardless of circumstance and offer accessible, cost-effective, evidence-based forms of assessment and treatment," she said.
"It is absolutely imperative we look at ways to improve mental health outcomes for young people."
The model of the Million Minds Mission digital platform includes four components: detection and referral, assessment, feedback, treatment planning and motivational enhancement, and intervention.
The program will target youth with depression and anxiety, the two most common mental health problems afflicting young Australians.
Modules will also target sleep, substance use, motivation, suicidality, social difficulties and unhealthy lifestyle behaviours.
The project team is led by Associate Professor Sonja March from the University of Southern Queensland.
Other Universities involved in the five-year project include Griffiths University, The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, and The Australian National University.
The project will also involve local, state and national organisations and support agencies, including Kids Helpline, Education Queensland, Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, West Moreton Hospital Health Service, Darling Downs, West Moreton Primary Health Network and Aftercare.