Augmenting phone and web chat counseling with novel models on online therapy.

2 in 3 young women and 7 in 8 young men in need of mental health support do not access evidence-based treatment. This problem is further compounded by the very limited availability of youth mental health care in rural and remote areas.

Generation was specifically designed to meet the overwhelming demand for anonymous, immediate and comprehensive mental health support for young people around the country. The platform provides an integrated online system for the delivery of real-time clinician delivered web chat counselling, interactive comic-based psychosocial interventions, and safe and secure peer-to-peer social networking. Generation empowers young people to independently access peer support and engaging evidence-based therapy, while they wait for one-on-one chat with a clinician. The platform is powered by our advanced MOSTware system, with additional enhancements to provide a completely anonymous and self-directed experience for young people.

In 2017 Generation was integrated with eheadspace web chat services and tested via a three-month pilot study involving 154 young people from across Australia. This was the first trial of its kind to test the effectiveness an online social therapy system as a short term, early intervention tool for youth mental health. Results were encouraging. 99% of young people reported a positive experience of Generation, 82% reported that it helped them feel better, 75% reported that it helped them feel more socially connected, 97% felt safe while using Generation, and 92% would recommend the platform to others. 40% of young people using Generation did not request one-to-one chat with the clinician, indicating that the platform has the potential to reduce the demand on clinician support while enhancing young people’s experience of anonymous online care.

Generation was developed over 2 years with the generous support of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre.

I’ve found Generation so helpful. It is the best online service available. I think it is truly life changing. Having so many options to get help all in the one place is amazing. I love that you can log on and talk about other things people are finding difficult in the talk it out section. I love how you can express what you are feeling in the cafe and i think it’s so valuable having an infinite amount of resources in the other section (the blue one!)” – Generation member