An innovative new app to help maximise wellbeing and resilience has been developed using QUT research and expertise in partnership with the AFL Players’ Association and funded by the Movember Foundation.
- The QUT team, led by director of the Games Research and Interaction Design Lab, Professor Daniel Johnson, helped develop the MindMax app and its video games
- The QUT team is heading ongoing research and evaluation of the app to add to it
- The MindMax app is free to download and based on the premise that ‘fit minds kick goals’
Professor Johnson said users of the MindMax app are guided through the same wellbeing training that AFL players use, but in bite-sized app-friendly sessions with interactive activities and video games to encourage social sharing and building a community.
“It has been a massively rewarding project to be involved in,” he said. “Movember has given us an amazing opportunity and the response has been remarkable, with more than 2300 downloads since the app’s launch.
“We know that video games are immersive and have a motivational pull, that people use them to relax and connect, and we are employing that knowledge in this app in order to have a positive impact on people’s lives.
“Part of the strategy is to engage with people in a space they already inhabit – people are passionate about both the AFL and video games. We are drawing on those passions to build a wellbeing tool that helps build resilience and the mental fitness to handle challenges that may arise in life.”
Elite AFL players, including from Queensland, Gold Coast Suns ruckman Tom Nicholls and midfielder Michael Barlow, are ambassadors for the app and have provided feedback.
Professor Johnson said research and evaluation of the app will continue over the next four months.
“The app is designed to be regularly updated and to build on what we learn,” he said.
“We are working closely with colleagues at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre, who are leading a naturalistic assessment trial.
“This involves people engaging with it as they would normally, in their everyday life, and then completing a survey at specific intervals over several months.”
MindMax spokesperson and clinical psychologist Dr Jo Mitchell says conversations are too often driven by alleviating mental illness, rather than building mental fitness and it’s important that we start having conversations that change these attitudes and behaviours.
“MindMax is shifting the lens to create a happier, more resilient and fitter community that knows how to flourish in life – not just survive.
“Let’s not wait for people to break, but help them be more resilient from the start, and to improve mental fitness the same way we do our physical fitness.”
The MindMax app can be downloaded for free from the App Store. People interested in being part of the study trial can sign up at: https://mindmaxstudy.com/
Karen Milliner, QUT Media, 07 3138 1841 or email@example.com
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