The Black Dog Institute are using app-based technology to engage teenagers in a discussion about mental health.
The Black Dog Institute are using app-based technology to engage teenagers in a discussion about mental health.

Black Dog hopes new app will make mental health click

THE Black Dog institute is turning to technology in the battle to help improve teenagers' mental health with their upcoming launch of WeClick.

WeClick allows shares the experiences of four different characters who each have their own relationship challenges in a 'gamification' experience.

The app aims to cover issues like anxiety, stress, tensions with friends and parents which were identified as issues when Black Dog consulted teenagers during the app development.

Dr Bridianne O'Dea, Senior Research Fellow at the Black Dog Institute said the 193 teenagers used in the app testing provided good feedback.

"Young people enjoyed using the app because they could relate to the characters and the situations they found themselves in" Dr O'Dea said.

"By reading about the characters and completing the interactive activities, young people were able to apply the learning to their own lives and realise the steps needed to solve their own issues."

Black Dog developed WeClick with a target audience in mind, harnessing technology while making the programs 20 minutes in length.

After four weeks of trials, Black Dog said there had been a favourable response to the app from the participants.

"Importantly, more than 90 per cent of young people reported that they enjoyed using the app," Dr O'Dea said.

Technology has moved to the forefront on mental health services after COVID-19 has made face-to-face services need to adapt to be in line with the current restrictions.

Many mental health services have experienced increased demand during the coronavirus pandemic as the public faced lockdown, isolation and job loss.

READ MORE: ONE CALL EVERY 30 SECONDS

The WeClick app is set to be accessible for schools in 2021.

If you need any support contact Lifeline at 131114.



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