February 26, 2024

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SA’s online mental health lifeline gets funding boost

While current circumstances highlight the issues, the fact is, the demand for mental health services has been on the rise in Australia.

Recognising the huge need for improved access to mental health support, especially for isolated communities, Masonic Charities has made a $650,000 commitment to support a research partnership between the University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide, to develop an interactive, online well being tool to help people with practical, evidence-based strategies to manage stress, adapt to change and strengthen their mental health and well being.

The new online tool builds on the successful ifarmwell initiative developed by Clinical Psychologist and UniSA Research Fellow, Department of Rural Health, Dr Kate Gunn with Professor Deborah Turnbull from the Freemasons Centre for Male Health and Well-being at the University of Adelaide, and is aimed at reaching out to people early, to strengthen coping mechanisms.

The team’s work has shown that there is a real need for a tool that GPs and other health professionals are confident to refer to their patients when the first signs of depression and stress appear.

“We know that for many people it is difficult to raise the idea that you may not be coping well and need some help, so we want to develop a practical self-help tool that avoids that stigma and pathologising language and helps to give them hope and build resilience,” Dr Gunn stated.

“The initiative will help us to reach out to people who experience delays in being able to access counselling.”

The economic cost of mental illness in Australia is $500 million per day, which includes the direct cost of mental health services and indirect costs, such as lost productivity, reduced health, and life expectancy.

Only one-third of people experiencing mental disorders will access traditional, face-to-face mental health services.

Research shows that when people do seek help, 71 per cent will consult their GP in the first instance, but with waiting lists of two to six months for referred appointments with a psychologist, there is a real need for strategies to support self-care.

The goal of this project is to improve every Australian’s access to timely, free, psychological support and self-help strategies, at an early stage to build resilience against developing more serious mental health problems.

In partnership with GPs, consumers and key stakeholders, we hope to reduce the risk of unnecessary suffering from what is treatable distress.

The online initiative will ensure time-pressured GPs are better equipped to help their patients tackle mental health issues and will go some way to bridging the gaps between Australians accessing primary care and mental health services.

The new web-based support will personalise content to make it more relevant to users and it will be developed with consumer and stakeholder input.

The UniSA Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise say the partnership with Masonic Charities to develop the new online mental health tool is a perfect example of research and community collaboration to build stronger societies.

This project delivers on a shared goal to make a tangible difference in our world. Having identified a need for a tailored resource that can effectively engage Australians facing a diverse range of stressors, life circumstances and mental health issues, the team will be working together to deliver a solution.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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