Young men in Australia are more than four times as likely to die as a result of suicide than young women1. With today’s launch of The Sorter mobile app, ReachOut.com continues to pioneer action-oriented interventions designed to engage young men and help them through their tough times.
Aimed at young men 17+ and deriving its name from the expression ‘get shit sorted’, The Sorter delivers free, bite-sized pieces of advice across five areas that young men highlight as causing them most concern. Including topics such as Sex & Relationships, Alcohol & Drugs, Friends & Family and Study Stress, The Sorter allows users to determine the depth of advice they’re looking for via an interactive sensor. In addition, the app has a shake function when young men are ready for their next piece of advice, a ‘Got It Sorted’ section to record areas that have been addressed and a clear pathway through to Australia’s leading online youth mental health service ReachOut.com for those who need it.
“Young Australian men urgently need our help,” says Jono Nicholas, CEO of Inspire Foundation, the organisation behind ReachOut.com.
“For many young men, traditional methods of mental health care aren’t giving them what they need to get through tough times and we all have to think differently,” Jono explains.
“We know online services provide the anonymity young men often need to reach out for help, and we know they prefer to help themselves wherever possible.”
In addition to 15 years of knowledge Jono and the ReachOut.com team have gained whilst helping young people, Australian research published in 2013 supports the need to focus on young men’s mental health in a new way2. A result of an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant awarded to the University of Sydney’s Brain & Mind Research Institute and the Inspire Foundation, the research explored young men’s attitudes and behaviour in relation to mental health and technology.
“The research suggests that young men are less likely to seek professional help for themselves, preferring self-help and action oriented strategies,” Jono says. “That’s where The Sorter comes in, specifically designed to suit the way young blokes want to address their mental health, by doing stuff for themselves.”
The Inspire Foundation continues to lead the way in using the enabling power of technology to improve mental health outcomes for young Australians.
“ReachOut.com was the first online mental health service in the world, we’re very proud of that,” Jono says.
“We’re also very proud that The Sorter symbolises the next generation of mental health interventions, designed specifically to help young Aussie men to be happy and well,” adds Jono.
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1 ABS (2013) 3303.0 – Causes of Death, Australia, 2011, Australian Government, Canberra.
2 Ellis et al.: Young men’s attitudes and behaviour in relation to mental health and technology: implications for the development of online mental health services. BMC Psychiatry 2013 13:119.