One-Click Support was founded by two University of Sydney medical students, Akhil Bansal and Aran Kanagaratnam. Mental illness affects one-quarter of all young people, but less than a third will seek help. We also know that most people who do access help find it useful, so we wanted to bridge that gap. One-Click Support attempts to improve engagement with mental health services by connecting people to support services that are right for them.
We entered our idea for One-Click to the University of Sydney Student Innovation Challenge, and were lucky enough to receive university funding and support to develop this platform. more information on the competition, and our project proposal, can be found on this link.
One-Click Support is currently being integrated into various parts of the University of Sydney framework, but we are very interested in expanding to other universities and places of work. If you would like to get in touch regarding this, please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
One in five Australians experiences a mental disorder in any given year (ABS, 2007), with 80% of students experiencing abnormal levels of psychological distress (Stallman, 2010). Successful support depends on existence of effective services, and engagement with them. Services do exist - in addition to traditional face-to face services, the university is affiliated with over 20 online and offline mental health support services. However, only 35% of all people with a mental illness seeking professional help and engage with services (ABS, 2010).
There are a few potential reasons for low engagement with support services. Firstly, there is a lack of awareness of the services that exist. Further, individuals feel they do not have the control to choose services that are right for them (National Mental Health Commission, 2015). In addition, those who do want to seek help often find it difficult because of the hurdle of making appointments, understanding which service is right for them, and having to navigate the daunting variety of services (Rickwood et al., 2007).
One-Click Support addresses these barriers to engagement by providing a way to connect students experiencing distress with support services that are right for them.
Specific to our platform, our research has led to our choice of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) as it is a brief, ten question, global measure of general psychological distress. This has been extensively validated in clinical and non-clinical populations, with higher scores corresponding to greater prevalence of mental illness (Andrews & Slade, 2001). Further, the literature strongly suggests that a health care system that integrates and promotes both online and offline services is more likely to be engaged with. This leads to more personalised support (Burns & Birrell, 2014), a central part of our platform.
Stallman HM. Psychological distress in university students: A comparison with general population data. Australian Psychologist. 2010 Dec;45(4):249-57.
Lourey C. A contributing life: the 2012 national report card on mental health and suicide prevention. Sydney: National Mental Health Commission; 2015.
Rickwood DJ, Deane FP, Wilson CJ. When and how do young people seek professional help for mental health problems. Medical Journal of Australia. 2007 Oct 1;187(7):S35.
Andrews G, Slade T. Interpreting scores on the Kessler psychological distress scale (K10). Australian and New Zealand journal of public health. 2001 Dec;25(6):494-7
Burns J, Birrell E. Enhancing early engagement with mental health services by young people. Psychology research and behavior management. 2014;7:303.