Orygen is set to roll out a ground-breaking digital mental health support service for young people in New South Wales following a $1.5 million state government funding announcement today.
MOST, or Moderated Online Social Therapy, will be available through eight youth mental health services across the state between now and 30 June 2022 thanks to the investment by the NSW Government.
The evidence-based platform is the world’s first digital mental health solution to offer 24/7 integrated face-to-face and online therapy, tools and programs for young people experiencing mental ill-health.
Designed by Orygen, Australia’s centre of excellence in youth mental health, MOST harnesses technology to address gaps in existing care models, providing on-demand support from any internet-enabled device.
Initially trialled in Victoria, access to MOST was rapidly expanded last year as part of the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 community support response, where it has created Australia’s first network of digitally-enhanced youth mental health services.
Jon Myer, acting director of Orygen Digital, said the NSW Government’s $1.5 million investment in MOST couldn’t have come at a better time for NSW’s young people.
“There is an extraordinary level of need for support among young people as the COVID-19 pandemic rolls on. We are grateful to the New South Wales government for enabling us to move quickly to help meet that need,” he said.
“COVID-19 has brought a surge in telehealth adoption and digital mental health innovation that has showcased technology’s potential to overcome barriers and promote access to effective, sustainable care.
“MOST draws on more than 11 years of research, clinical expertise, online innovation and youth feedback to deliver the best clinical care and support possible to 12 to 25-year-olds, regardless of where they live.”
New South Wales Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said MOST would ease the burden on clinical services which have been inundated by increased demand.
“We know that services are under pressure right now and this platform will also provide relief by helping them to lighten their load, connecting people with other help.”
MOST is overseen by clinicians, peer workers and career advisers, who provide additional support that integrates with the clinical care participants receive at state-funded child and adolescent youth mental health services and participating headspace centres.
The platform also offers a safe social network for young people, and the ability for users to create their own toolkit of strategies to access before, during and after their therapy sessions.