Our research

The goal of all our research and evaluation is to better understand our audiences and learn how we can improve our services.

We bring this together with the broader evidence base for youth mental health to design services that are relevant and effective in helping young people to be, and stay, well. We share our insights and leverage our position as a trusted mental health service to shine a light on young people’s lived experience of mental health and to influence policy and system reform.

Our program of user and design research with diverse young people and the important people in their lives (parents/carers and teachers) helps us to understand the lived experiences of young people, and how they need our service to respond to help them navigate everyday issues and mental health challenges.

We’re always looking for feedback from our users on how we can do better. We evaluate our service using lots of different methods, including data analytics, brief on-site surveys, qualitative research, cross-sectional surveys and longitudinal studies. Understanding our impact is a priority for ReachOut, so that we can be confident the service is improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people. Our theory of change guides the design of a program of studies which measures impacts that matter to young people and families, as well as to our funders and policy makers. 

We work closely with the service design and delivery team to translate the findings from these studies in as close to real time as possible. We also share our research in public reports and academic journals so that our sector colleagues can learn from us and we can contribute to building the evidence for digital mental health. 

We also work with government and policy makers to ensure that the mental health system meets young people’s needs in ways that work for them. We’re always looking for opportunities to put key youth issues in the spotlight to ensure that young people’s needs and digital services are well represented in mental health policy in Australia. We do this through a range of public communications, policy submissions and government relations activities.