Supporting mental health and our future generation

CaSe STudy

Black Dog Institute has leveraged HM1’s support across a variety of impactful work.

Black Dog Institute (BDI) has leveraged HM1’s support across a variety of impactful work including the projects outlined below.

Sleep Ninja™ App

In February 2023, Black Dog successfully launched its free, evidence-based smartphone app to help young people with sleep problems. The app addresses the worsening sleep experienced by Australian adolescents.

Most adolescents (>80%) do not get the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep each night and 40% experience significant sleep problems by high school.

“Over 70 per cent of people with depression also have insomnia symptoms,” says Dr Werner- Seidler. “By supporting them before they reach a clinical level, we’re in a better position to prevent both the worsening of sleep symptoms and the onset of depression.”

Sleep problems alone lead to fatigue and cognitive difficulties and are a major risk factor for the onset of mental health problems, specifically depression. Over six weeks, Sleep Ninja® teaches skills based on cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), which promotes sleep quality and healthy sleep habits, and reduces signs of depression.

You can learn more about Sleep Ninja® below.

Health Professional Resource & Education Hub

BDI now has a free Health Professional Resource & Education Hub, connecting health professionals to online programs, resources and primary care information on mental health. The custom-built platform will provide health professionals with access to evidence-based online resources, including accredited training modules, webinars, podcasts and other e-Mental Health in Practice (eMHPrac) content. Users will also be able to connect with other health professionals through the Mental Health Community of Practice, where they can exchange ideas, thoughts and experiences with peers via forums moderated by Black Dog Institute’s team of experts.

National Emergency Worker Support Service

Black Dog Institute has expanded the National Emergency Worker Support Service to provide mental health support across all regions of Australia. Recognising that emergency workers respond to stress and trauma in diverse ways, one key feature is an online mental health check, which helps individuals connect with appropriate support based on their unique needs. This includes the opportunity for 12 free-sessions with a trauma-informed clinical psychologist, as well as other resources for people who prefer a more self-guided approach to their treatment.

Clearly Me®

Additionally, to help target rising rates of depression and anxiety in young people and provide support during long wait times for therapists, Black Dog Institute has developed an app called Clearly Me®. Clearly Me® is based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with the goal of engaging young people through its youth-friendly appeal. The trial app will be evaluated during 2023; if successful, the app should be launched towards the end of the year.

Through the Institute's research and various achievements, Black Dog has been able to educate and support everyday people as well as other organisations in Australia and worldwide. For example, Black Dog:

  • Contributed to the World Health Organisation’s first-ever global guidelines for mental health.
  • Released the Youth Depression Report that shows youth depression has doubled in the last 14 years.
  • Provided recommendations to the Royal Commission on Defence and Veteran Suicide, as well as releasing a report to inform suicide prevention efforts in veterans.

Black Dog Institute researchers are dedicated to understanding, preventing and treating the significant mental health challenges that we face nationally and globally.