Authors: Centre for Mental Health Research (The Australian National University)
Event: 2007 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: ACT
Award level: Winner
Award category: Infant, Child and Adolescent Services or Programs
Abstract: The YouthMood project involves the implementation and evaluation of the MoodGYM program in schools. To date, the project involves 31 high schools from across Australia and aims to provide a universal prevention and early intervention program designed to lower symptoms of anxiety and depression. The YouthMood project is the implementation of the MoodGYM program in schools by classroom teachers. Over a 5-week period, the program is presented to students in the classroom usually incorporated into the school’s mental health curriculum. Students complete the self-directed program individually, allowing the opportunity for confidentiality and for self-paced learning. The innovation of the program rests with its acceptability to teachers and students and its ease of administration. It overcomes barriers associated with teacher unease and lack of expertise in the teaching of CBT, and student resistance to reporting mental health difficulties publicly. Preliminary results from the YouthMood project indicate significant reductions in symptoms of anxiety and depression for students who completed the MoodGYM program at post-test and 6-month follow-up. Description of Facility/Organisation: The Centre for Mental Health Research (CMHR) is a dynamic research group funded by competitive grants from government and not-for-profit sectors in Australia. CMHR specialises in mental health issues from an epidemiological and community perspective, and has a focus on e-health and prevention. The Centre consists of 11 academics, 20 research and administrative staff, 19 PhD students and 10 part-time interviewers, and collaborates with international and local experts in a range of specialist fields. The Centre’s mission is to produce population mental health research of the highest international standard. Its research programs focus on improving public knowledge about mental health, identifying risk factors for the common mental health disorders, and developing methods of preventing these disorders. The Centre has a strong consumer focus, through its establishment of the Anxiety and Depression Consumer Research Unit, and a Family and Community Unit.