Letters

Future Proofing

Ed,

Almost one quarter of young Australians are experiencing psychological distress, according to the latest Black Dog Institute and Mission Australia Youth Report.

Treatment alone is not enough to fix this growing problem.

Rather than scapegoating technology as the root cause, it’s time we considered how teens can use screens for good.

The Black Dog Institute is excited to be running a world-first study – Future Proofing – to see whether smartphone apps can enhance and protect youth mental health.

This 5-year trial with 400 schools and up to 20,000 Year 8 students will test apps at scale, collecting sensor data from smartphones such as sleep patterns and activity levels to give researchers the clearest snapshot yet into young people’s health and wellbeing.

This unprecedented trial is the first step towards empowering our young people, from kindergarten to Year 12, with the tools to thrive, connect and succeed in a rapidly changing digital world.

We encourage NSW-based schools to get involved in the study ahead of Term 2 2020 by registering their interest at [email protected].

Dr Aliza Werner-Seidler
Black Dog Institute

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