User-driven and Empowered

The User-driven and Empowered research program will focus on developing more innovative services for young people who are experiencing mental health difficulties. It will aim to ensure the services are easily accessible and available in an environment that works best for young people. To do this we shall bring together some of the best minds working in this field along with young people and health service providers. Together we shall deliver new resources that can be used by young people, and by health professionals who are providing clinical services.

Young people express a desire to control their own mental health care and access confidential advice and support from sources they trust. They want support that is timely, accessible regardless of location and time, and is relevant and effective. Service providers insist that information and tools used by young people and health professionals be evidence-based. This research program considers the requirements of both users and professionals, and will conduct cutting edge research to revolutionise the resources used in clinical practice.



Supported self-help. Online and mobile phone platforms provide an opportunity for young people to self-screen for mental health problems and access a menu of peer-approved strategies to support them. These platforms also provide information about help-seeking, and can also be used by services to assist triage and initial assessment processes. A series of applications will be developed, user-tested and consumer-rated using qualitative and quantitative methodologies, prior to an evaluation of their efficacy and effectiveness in routine services.

Creating new digital settings for mental health service provision. The research will incorporate trials of online services. These services will be linked to existing technology infrastructure on mental health services, as well as being available in stand-alone format, and integrated with existing face-to-face, web and telephone services.

Revolutionising professional practice. Tools and applications created across the Young and Well CRC’s research will enable health professionals to access and deliver evidence-based technology-assisted interventions in face-to-face sessions. These tools, together with other online training, can also develop practitioners’ capabilities in addressing needs of young service users. This research will explore how to address practical and attitudinal barriers to the use of technology-assisted interventions, and encourage their routine use in professional practice.


  • Youth-led evidence-based models that promote better access to mental health care
  • Online mental health services that match young people’s needs
  • Peer-to-peer support, continuity of care and relapse prevention
  • Lower costs for practitioners and consumers and reduced demand on the health workforce
  • Evidence-based tools, training and professional development for health professionals


  • Decreased suicidal behaviours and associated community costs;
  • Decreased medical costs associated with substance use
  • Increased productivity due to less days out of work and school for young people and their families;
  • Reduction in cost of care due to reduced frequency and severity of episodes of illness, prevention relapse, treatment compliance and maintenance of wellbeing.


User-driven and Empowered Projects

Research project leader

Associate Professor Lena Sanci

View Associate Professor Lena Sanci’s profile »

Downloadable Items
  • Bridging the Digital Disconnect: Exploring Parents’ Views on Using Technology to Promote Young People’s Mental Health
  • Using Technologies Safely and Effectively to Promote Young People’s Wellbeing
  • Counting the Cost: The Impact of Young Men’s Mental Health on the Australian Economy
  • Attitudes Informing the Use of Technologies by the Youth Health Workforce to Improve Young People’s Wellbeing
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