What was once the BoysTown charity, yourtown now offers community services for young people, from helping them find jobs, to learning new skills and becoming great parents and live safe and happy lives.
yourtown have unveiled mental health technology that makes it dramatically easier and faster for teenagers and young people to access evidence-based wellness resources at their fingertips through the ‘niggle by Kids Helpline’ mobile app.
Chief Executive Officer Tracy Adams this morning that announce that yourtown collaborated with QUT to create a research-driven app to allow young people to identify any mental health concern or ‘niggle’. ’The end result is hundreds of built-in resources and guided strategies being available on the free niggle app’, she said.
‘I’m excited that the new ‘niggle by Kids Helpline’ mobile app can work either in conjunction with Kids Helpline’s existing services or can be used as a stand-alone option providing trusted evidence-based resources to a potential new audience of young people who may not have previously sought help through traditional means,’ she said.
A well-being toolkit
‘The niggle by Kids Helpline is a well-being toolkit that promotes self-help using the full resources of Kids Helpline to offer valuable information to teens and young people to check and monitor their mental health and well-being. Most importantly this new app is youth-driven, it has been designed with young people for young people, said Ms Adams.
Supporting technology initiatives like the niggle app is an example of how yourtown’s Kids Helpline can offer safety-net options regardless of where in Australia the user is located. ‘Online apps such as these make it possible for young people to access help in a way that is comfortable for them and without the stigma that they may feel when accessing traditional mental health support services.
‘We think young people are going to love the confidentiality and convenience of this new mental health app,’ said Ms Adams.
‘Rigorous research over the past three years by an inter-disciplinary team of young people, counsellors, researchers, designers and mental health experts had created the powerful new niggle app.’
A QUT collaboration
The QUT collaboration was led by Dr Oksana Zelenko, Director – Research Impact and Excellence in the Creative Industries faculty.
Dr Zelenko said that the evidence-based app was designed to suit teenagers and young people 13 to 25 years of age. ‘The unique point of difference is that niggle by Kids Helpline had an initial pilot study that involving about 700 young people.
The project received $356,000 funding from the Australia Research Council Linkage Project scheme which prioritises research collaborations between University and industry.
‘The niggle app is completely novel in how it blends traditional and mobile mental health interventions to benefit the wellbeing of young Australians. I can see it could also have a future on a global level,’ said Dr Zelenko.