Apps and web programs for mental wellbeing

Since 2008, the ePsychology research group at QUT has developed 9 websites and 3 mobile phone apps, and has collaborated in development of 3 further phone or tablet apps. It has also developed expert and user versions of a rating scale for mobile phone apps (the Mobile Apps Rating Scale—MARS and uMARS) and for digital resources generally (the eMARS).

Web programs at provide self-guided programs for mental disorders and substance misuse. These programs were developed with funding from Queensland Health.

  • Alcohol
  • Alcohol & Depression—for co-occurring problems
  • Depression—focused on prevention of recurrences
  • Get Real—for psychosis-like experiences
  • Family & Friends—to support relatives and friends
  • Floods and Storms—for prevention of post-trauma reactions to natural disaster.

In addition:

A program at  addresses diet, activity, treatment adherence and dysphoria. Development and trial of this program was funded by the Wesley Research Institute (now Wesley Medical Research).

Baby Steps ( ) is a web program that supports the wellbeing of new parents, and has a particular focus on fathers.  Its development and trial were funded by beyondblue.

Say When ( )—is a binge drinking program for young people, which was funded by the Victorian Department of Health.

Development of thedesk ( )—a program to promote tertiary student resilience and wellbeing—was led by Dr Helen Stallman (now at Uni SA), Professors David Kavanagh and Ian Shochet, and Professor Alan Ralph (UQ), using funding from beyondblue.

The ePsychology research group also worked with Professor Tricia Nagel and colleagues (Menzies School) to program and evaluate the impact of a tablet app for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing (Stay Strong).

Professor Leanne Hides (now at UQ) and Professor David Kavanagh led the QUT node of the Young and Well CRC (2011-16), which  developed and evaluated the phone apps Music eScape (using music playlists to self-manage moods), Ray’s Night Out (an educational game on binge drinking) and Breakup Shakeup (for teenage relationship breakup),  and a gamified mindfulness app based on Smiling Mind. The group also developed a website for psychosis-like symptoms related to cannabis use (Keep it real—for cannabis use and psychosis-like experiences), and the MARS and uMARS rating scales for mobile phone apps (now generalised into a rating scale for web programs and apps—the eMARS).

Professors Kavanagh and Hides and Dr White also collaborated on an ARC-funded project led by Professor Judy Drennan, to develop an iPhone app to support the safety of young women during a night out (Gurls Nite Out).