One of Dr Peter Baldwin’s key goals is to make mental health treatments available to all people. To him, this includes every Australian, regardless of their abilities.

With a Mental Health Research Grant from Australian Rotary Health, Dr Baldwin at the Black Dog Institute (NSW), will test an online mental health tool designed for young Australians living with an Intellectual Disability (ID).

“Healthy Mind is an automated online cognitive behaviour therapy program developed by the Black Dog Institute in consultation with clinicians, researchers, and people living with an intellectual disability,” Dr Baldwin said.

“Healthy Mind takes some key aspects of CBT and translates them into accessible and engaging tools that can be used on any internet-connected device.”

Dr Baldwin says young Australians who live with an ID are especially vulnerable to mental illness, yet less than 10% have access to appropriate mental health care.

“Despite e-mental health tools improving access to evidence-based treatments for most Australians, people with an intellectual disability cannot use the e-health tools available.”

“Healthy Mind has the potential to close this gap by placing tailored e-mental health services in the hands of all young Australians living with an intellectual disability.”

This intervention is designed to help reduce levels of anxiety and depression, while improving day to day wellbeing.

This research project will also examine how Healthy Mind can help support the mental health of young Australians with an intellectual disability as they experience a stressful life transition, such as moving out of home or starting their first job.

“One of the key goals of e-mental health is to make mental health treatments available to all people. For me, “all people” includes every Australian, regardless of their abilities.”

“For this reason, I have chosen to research how we make established e-mental health programs more accessible to people with different abilities.”

We wish Dr Baldwin and his team all the best with their research.

 

Media contact: Jessica Cooper – (02) 8837 1900 or jessica@arh.org.au