R U Appy indigenous wellbeing program reaches out

THE Northern Rivers will serve as one of three pilot locations for the indigenous e-Social and Emotional Wellbeing Training Program, which was launched yesterday.

R U Appy aims to train indigenous health professionals, and eventually the wider healthcare community, in the use of technology and smartphone applications to help clients with mental health issues.

The University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH) North Coast collaborated with universities and the Northern NSW Local Health District ahead of the program's launch at the Lismore Workers Club.

"Many young people use smartphones, but very few young people use mental health services, despite the high incidence of mental health problems," UCRH associate professor James Bennett-Levy said.

"Online technologies and apps enable health professionals to meet people in the places where they hang out."

Prof Bennett-Levy said technological and app-based health services would never supersede traditional methods, but rather complement them.

He said indirect methods of communication through apps could help people speak about their problems.



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