Can digital technologies provide opportunities to support people’s mental health following a traumatic event?
Flagship Program: Digitally Coordinated and Supported Rehabilitation Management
Mental illness is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Each year, almost 4 million people in Australia experience a mental illness, with an estimated cost of 40 billion dollars. It is critical that Australia find efficient and sustainable approaches to support people’s mental health and when possible prevent mental illness.
It is well established that people who experience trauma have an increased risk of developing a mental illness. Furthermore, evidence also suggests the process of claiming compensation can further increase a person’s distress and impede their recovery. Noting this, it would seem warranted that this group could benefit from the provision of additional mental health support. Evidence is emerging that preventative interventions and mental health promotion can reduce the incidence and prevalence of mental illness in specific at-risk populations.
This project aims to identify and trial digital technologies to support mental health following a traumatic event. Digital technologies will be used to deliver interventions to mediate risk factors following a traumatic event and/or enhance the development of protective factors that improve resistance to developing a mental illness.
The project will begin with a comprehensive literature review to identify mental illness prevention strategies that could be delivered via digital technology. Two or three of the most feasible strategies will then be piloted in research trials with people who have sustained a traumatic injury either at work or on the road and have made a compensation claim. The results of the study will be used to develop effective approaches to support a person’s mental health following a traumatic event.
Long term objective: To assess whether digital technologies can be used to reduce the incidence and prevalence of developing a mental illness following a traumatic event.
This project’s aims:
1. Investigate whether digital technologies can be used to proactively identify injured people who are experiencing psychological distress
2. Explore whether digital technologies can empower an injured person who is experiencing psychological distress to seek assistance
3. Understand which risk and protective factors might be amenable to interventions delivered digitally
4. Understand factors contributing to a person experiencing increased stress when making a compensation claim and assess how these factors might be ameliorated
5. Examine the feasibility and effectiveness of delivering selected mental illness prevention interventions via digital technologies
6. Develop recommendations for IAG regarding scalable and effective approaches to assist customers to reduce their risk of developing a mental illness following a traumatic event.