Young people across NSW will have access to expanded digital mental health support thanks to a $1.5m investment from the NSW Nationals in the state government.
The Moderated Online Social Therapy (MOST) platform, designed by youth mental health organisation Orygen, will be embedded in eight eligible youth mental health services across NSW between now and the end of June next year.
Nationals Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the evidence-based digital intervention was designed to provide instant access to specialist support for people during a challenging time.
“This is all about connecting young people with online resources that they can use to improve their mental health and wellbeing as well as connecting them with a network of peers and mental health clinicians,’ said Mrs Taylor.
“For those who need more intensive support, the platform will also help young people engage with clinical services face-to-face for immediate and ongoing mental health support.”
Mrs Taylor said the application would also lighten the load for clinical services which have been inundated by increased demand.
“We know that services are under pressure, young people will currently wait between six to eight weeks for a psychologist appointment at headspace, so it’s vital we continue to connect young people to a range of help.”
The MOST platform can be accessed 24/7 from a range of devices including mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers.
Initially trialled in Victoria, access to MOST was rapidly expanded last year as part of the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 community support response, where it has created Australia’s first network of digitally-enhanced youth mental health services.
Orygen Executive Director Professor Patrick McGorry said “MOST is changing the way we provide mental health services by connecting digital mental health technology with clinical services to address gaps in existing care models, provide on-demand support and sustain real life recovery for young people.”
“It is exciting that with this support of the NSW Government we can now offer this world leading digital mental health service to young people across the state.”
The funding for the MOST platform is in addition to the NSW Government’s extensive range of initiatives, including $5.5 million for lockdown support during COVID, $87 million for Towards Zero Suicides initiatives, $109 million for Safeguards Child and Adolescent Mental Health Response Teams and $6 million to establish 12 Community Wellbeing Collaboratives in communities at high risk of suicide.
If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or is experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please seek help immediately by calling 000 or one of these services:
• Lifeline 13 11 14
• Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
• NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511