It's one 'smart' solution: Using new and emerging technologies to support the mental health and wellbeing of young men

More than 75 per cent of the serious mental health, alcohol or other substance misuse problems that disrupt the lives of many Australians first emerge during the teenage or early adult years. When these problems arise in adolescence they have the potential to result in very serious impacts, not only on a young person's health but also on their social, educational and vocational opportunities. Unfortunately, our most recent National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (ABS, 2008) confirmed that while 26 per cent of young people reported experiencing a significant mental health problem in the last 12 months (higher than any other age group), the vast majority (87 per cent of young men and 69 per cent of young women) did not receive any professional help. Although we have seen a tremendous change in community attitudes over the last decade towards common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and related alcohol or other substance misuse (Highet et al., 2006; Jorm et al., 2006; Pirkis, 2005), it is clear that we have not yet provided the wider social (or health care) services or environment to assist young people to access the help they need.

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