Our focus is always on getting to the bottom of things so that we can build our services on strong foundations. That’s why we do ongoing user experience testing and evaluation to improve ReachOut.com, and share our insights to improve other services and influence policy.

We also work with government and policymakers to ensure that the mental health system meets young people’s needs in ways that work for them. Some of our research has even put key youth issues in the spotlight and influenced mental health policy in Australia.

Additionally, we produce a range of submissions and documents that speak to our research and work with young people, policy priorities for young people, and the role of online mental health services in supporting young people and the people they turn to for support, parents and carers, and friends.

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A measurable impact: Helping young people to be and stay well

The findings of this study showed that ReachOut provides young people with a relevant, engaging and accessible resource that helps them to understand and cope with their experiences of tough times and mental health difficulties. The findings also showed that young people who used ReachOut experienced:

  • improved mental health status
  • reduced suicide risk
  • increased help-seeking behaviour.

Read more in the report: A measurable impact (PDF)

Ready or not: Equipping young people for the future working world

The catalyst for this report on the need to prepare young people for a changing working world came from trends we saw in our research. Young people were telling us they were worried about the future. Would they do well enough in their exams to set them up for the career they wanted? Would they get a job? Would they ever be financially secure? With our research partner EY, we discovered a shared interest in prioritising areas for action that can make a difference.

Read more in the report: Ready or not

cover screenshot of lifting the weight
cover screenshot of lifting the weight

Lifting the weight: understanding young people’s mental health and service needs in regional and remote Australia

This joint report by ReachOut and Mission Australia tells the story of young people in regional and remote areas and their mental health and service needs.

Almost one in four young people in regional and remote Australia had a probable serious mental illness according to Mission Australia’s Youth Survey 2016. While the prevalence of mental health disorders is similar for people living in and outside of a major city, research has shown the risk of suicide rises as distance from a major city increases. This indicates that young people living in regional and remote areas may be exposed to a unique set of structural, economic and social factors that result in poorer mental health outcomes.

ReachOut Australia would like to thank Future Generation Global Investment Company (ASX: FGG) for their generous support of this report and our program of research into the mental health and wellbeing of young people living in regional and remote Australia.

Read more in the report: Lifting the weight (PDF)

Research Summary: Bullying and young Australians

This survey reveals that 23% of 14–25 year-olds have experienced bullying in the past 12 months. The highest incidence of bullying occurred at school (52%), followed by the online space (25%) and the workplace (25%).

The survey shows that of the young people who experienced bullying, around half sought help, with parents the most likely place young people will turn to for help with bullying at 48%, followed by peers (33%).

Read the report: Bullying and young Australians (PDF 232KB)

ReachOut Parents: Informing a new digital service for parents of teenagers in Australia

In May 2016, we launched a new digital service called ReachOut Parents. This service aims to improve young people’s mental health and wellbeing through helping parents understand more about them and the tough times they face.
In order to inform the content and design of this new service, ReachOut carried out a suite of research activities, including a literature review, focus groups and co-design workshops, and an online survey involving a diverse group of parents.

Read the report: ReachOut Parents (PDF 6.7 MB)

Smart investments to immediately boost capacity: A Way Forward

In a mental health system that’s struggling to cope with the existing demand, getting the right help to more people remains a key challenge.

A Way Forward, published by ReachOut Australia and EY, reveals that the missing piece of the puzzle for addressing escalating youth mental health issues may lie in smart investments in existing online services.

According to the report, providing e-mental health treatment to 10,000 people using online services could cost as little as $9.70 per consumer, per year, with the costs reducing as more people use the service.

Read the report: A Way Forward (PDF 2.2MB)

Rethinking the mental health system: Crossroads

Crossroads is a landmark collaboration between EY and ReachOut Australia that shows we urgently need to evolve the way the mental health system is oriented so as to avoid becoming economically unsustainable.

The report advocates evolving our mental health-care system to a stepped care framework, providing a range of scalable help options such as online service delivery and self-help.

Read the report: Crossroads (PDF)

The cost of young men's mental illness: Counting the Cost

Young men’s mental illness in Australia costs the economy more than $3 billion each year in lost productivity, as shown in this collaboration with EY supported by the Young and Well CRC.

While the Federal Government bears 31 per cent of this cost, the remainder is carried by companies, organisations and individuals, flagging a role for businesses to address poor mental health in the workplace through early detection and diagnosis.

Read the report: Counting the Cost (PDF)

Service evaluation: ReachOut.com Annual User Surveys

Every year, we ask thousands of ReachOut.com visitors about their mental health needs and their opinions of ReachOut.com.

It’s good news so far, with 41 per cent of young people in high psychological distress indicating in our 2013 survey that they were more likely to seek help from another professional source after visiting ReachOut.com.

Check out our recent reports:

Service evaluation: Pop-up behaviour insight surveys

A small proportion of our users respond to quick pop-up surveys about themselves and their experience of ReachOut.com. The results are continuously fed back into ReachOut.com service development, making sure we’re meeting every user’s needs.

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