Young people across the Dubbo region continue to benefit from expanded, digital mental health support through the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) Moderated Online Social Therapy (MOST) pilot program.
MOST is a free, digital service which provides on-demand, 24/7 mental health support for people aged 12-25, providing tailored online tools and programs guided by clinicians and peer workers with lived experience of mental ill-health.
Minister for Western NSW and Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders said MOST is designed to complement age-specific support being delivered by the Dubbo Health Service’s Infant, Child, Youth and Family Mental Health team (for 12-17 year olds) and the Adult Community Mental Health team (for 18-24 year olds).
“Young people in Dubbo have been through a really tough few years, so programs like these are hugely beneficial and are already making a big impact,” Mr Saunders said.
“I have heard from people within our community that MOST is leaving a really positive mark on our region’s youth, so I welcome the announcement that the program will be continuing.”
Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said by integrating face-to-face care with online resources, the MOST program allows young people to work through information in their own time, empowering them to find practical strategies that work for them when they need them.
“For those who need more intensive care, the platform also helps young people engage with clinical services face-to-face for immediate and ongoing support,” Mrs Taylor said.
Matthew Dowton, WNSWLHD Infant, Child, Youth and Family Mental Health District Coordinator, said the MOST program pilot has had really strong engagement in the Dubbo region and feedback has been very positive since its launch in May.
“We have had almost 40 young people enrol in the service so far with 50 per cent continuing to engage regularly, primarily utilising social resources, therapy resources and online clinicians for support. Those who don’t engage regularly still have access to the program whenever they need it,” Mr Dowton said.
Western NSW was the first of seven LHDs to launch the MOST pilot program in May 2022. The MOST program was designed by and is delivered in collaboration with youth mental health organisation Orygen, following a $1.5 million investment from the NSW Government to launch the platform.
Funding for the MOST platform is in addition the NSW Government’s extensive range of initiatives including; $87 million for Towards Zero Suicides initiatives and $109 million for Safeguards Child and Adolescent Mental Health Response Teams.