Harnessing science to create a brighter future for young people
Commencing in 2019, The Future Proofing Study aims to prevent depression and anxiety in young people. This ground-breaking initiative will engage 20,000 Year 8 students and follow them over a 5-year period.
During adolescence, 50% of all mental health problems emerge, and these can have lifelong consequences. We believe that prevention is better than cure.
We also know we can prevent depression in 22% of young people at risk. However, the major problem is providing these prevention interventions easily and universally. The study aims to discover how we can use smartphones to deliver preventive interventions on a large scale. Comprehensive, technology-assisted data collection and analysis will also help to determine what triggers the development of mental health symptoms.
Year 8 students involved in the study will use smartphone apps across the five years, which will help us to:
- Determine what triggers the development of mental illness in young people; and
- Identify which measures may protect against the emergence of mental health problems.
Participating schools will be supported by a dedicated Future Proofing team including academics, researchers, clinicians, educators, project managers and coordinators.
Study Activity What is involved Approx. start date Term 2 start Term 3 start Study setup Apps downloaded onto students’ phones & student consent obtained Early Term 2 2020 Early Term 3 2020 Baseline First online survey completed in class Early Term 2 2020 Early Term 3 2020 Post-intervention Online survey completed in class Late Term 2 2020 Late Term 3 2020 6 month follow-up Online survey completed in class Mid-Term 4 2020 Early Term 1 2021 12 month follow-up Online survey completed in class Early Term 2 2021 Early Term 3 2021 24 month follow-up Online survey completed in class Early Term 2 2022 Early Term 3 2022 36 month follow-up Online survey completed in class Early Term 2 2023 Early Term 3 2023 48 month follow-up Online survey completed in class Early Term 2 2024 Early Term 3 2024
The Future Proofing Team will provide support in class, face-to-face and over the phone throughout the study.