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Authors: Louise Birrell, Ainsley Furneaux-Bate, Sophia Spallek, Cath Chapman, Nicola Newton, Kyle Yeates, Ned Evans, Lexine Stapinski, Kylie Routledge, Nicola Newton, Michael Doyle, Katrina Champion, Mieke Snijder, Josh Steicke, Jess Johnson

Year: 2022

Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference

Subject: youth, digital mental health, services, indigenous, first nations, substance use

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: PANEL PRESENTATION: The development and school-based trial of the Mind-your-Mate program. A peer-support mobile app for adolescents.
Louise Birrell, Ainsley Furneaux-Bate, Sophia Spallek, Cath Chapman, Nicola Newton

Aim: This presentation describes the development and outcomes of the Mind your Mate program, a brief classroom lesson and smartphone app for adolescents targeting peer support around anxiety, depression, and substance use.

Methods: Development was an iterative process conducted in collaboration with adolescents and experts. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from end-user consultations, including adolescent focus groups (n = 23). Preliminary results of a randomised controlled trial of the program will be described.

Results: The development process resulted in a self-guided program that provides adolescents with normative information about mental health and substance use and facilitates checking in with friends. Adolescent survey feedback demonstrated a clear need for a program around helping friends (87% responded ‘yes’) and the majority (83%) agreed they would be likely to access this information through a mobile app. The program is currently being evaluated in 12 Sydney secondary schools.

Conclusion: Mind your Mate aims to upskill and empower adolescents to better support their peers around mental health, alcohol and other drug use. It is anticipated that compared to the control condition, students who receive the intervention will show delayed uptake of substance use and less mental ill health.

PANEL PRESENTATION: "Striking out Stigma" - Supporting clubs wellbeing on and off the field
Kyle Yeates, Ned Evans

Collectively as a community we can help provide support to those impacted by elevating the voices of lived experience and community champions. For the past two years Wellways has been working alongside NPL team Wagga City Wanderers, through an MOU, to support the club understand more about suicide risk, wellbeing initiatives and overall mental health and suicide awareness.
This partnership supports Wellways' mission, by accessing community champions who willingly use their voices to dispel stigma and misconceptions about mental health and suicide, and normalise ways families, friends and clubs can connect with those who might be struggling and thinking about suicide.
This partnership highlights the importance of clubs considering the wellbeing of their players, staff and families and providing a pathway to supports if required.
The Striking out Stigma Campaign has a strong focus on;
• Recognising someone is not coping, is stressed, or overwhelmed
• Having safe conversations about wellbeing and safety
• Understanding and knowing how to link people with the right supports
Clubs are connection points for people, so equipping sporting groups with tools and knowledge to be able to recognise, intervene and connect to professional supports is important to help keeping everyone safe.

PANEL PRESENTATION: Strong & Deadly Futures: Co-designed substance use prevention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth
Lexine Stapinski, Kylie Routledge, Nicola Newton, Michael Doyle, Katrina Champion, Cath Chapman, Mieke Snijder

Background: School-based prevention programs have proven effective in reducing alcohol and other drug (AOD) related harms; however, consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have identified a lack of evidence-based, culturally inclusive, prevention programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. To address this, we co-developed Strong & Deadly Futures with an Indigenous creative design agency and 4 schools. Following a successful pilot, we are testing the program’s effectiveness in preventing alcohol and drug uptake in a large randomised controlled trial (RCT). The trial is preceded by a consultation and adaptation phase in partnership with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs).
Population: Year 7/8 students from 24 secondary schools across Australia.
Method: ACCHOs in participating locations consulted with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults and young people to obtain feedback on the program to allow local adaptation. Schools are now trialling Strong & Deadly Futures in an RCT.
Results: Community consultations resulted in 4 regional adaptations of the program.
Conclusion: Strong & Deadly Futures supports implementation by combining core, standardised components with flexible activities to allow local tailoring of program content. If effective, Strong & Deadly Futures will provide a model for combining participatory research with rigorous evaluation.

PANEL PRESENTATION: The Multi-Agency Initiative for Youth: Striving for genuinely integrated Mental Health care for Young Consumers
Josh Steicke, Jess Johnson

The Multi-Agency Initiative for Youth is a partnership between several youth mental health services delivered by Sonder (emerge, headspace Edinburgh North and the headspace Youth Early Psychosis program) which are funded by the Adelaide Primary Health Network, and the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN), located in outer metropolitan region of Adelaide. This initiative seeks to address a long standing need to create a more integrative approach in addressing the mental health needs of young consumers, particularly those presenting with low prevalence or complex mental health concerns. This approach aims to provide integrated interagency treatment, which includes an integrated access point to services. This means that the young person is not required to ‘retell their story” to multiple services in order to find the right service for their care. Within the multi-agency initiative, young people can “step up and step down” according to their acuity without being “lost in the system”. The initiative, which initially started out between Sonder’s emerge team and NALHN’s community team, has slowly expanded to include headspace Edinburgh North and the local hospital, as well as conversations with the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service about their inclusion.

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