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Social and emotional wellbeing self-help app designed for First Nations Peoples making an impact

Female and male Indigenous holding out a phone

Mental health self-help app, iBobbly, is proving to have a positive impact on the social and emotional wellbeing of over 6,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth across Australia.

Female and male Indigenous holding out a phone

Since the launch of iBobbly in 2019, our partner Black Dog Institute has received a significant increase in the number of downloads to their app, suggesting there is a demand for targeted and culturally relevant digital mental health solutions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.

So far, 6,397 users have downloaded the app, which is 300% above Black Dog Institute’s initial target of 1,600. Following a small survey* carried out in June this year, users also reported signs of improvement to their mental health, with over 50% of respondents reporting perceived improvement in mental health and wellbeing after using iBobbly and a 28% reduction in distress.

The app is targeted at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth aged 15 years and over, offering a range of culturally adapted psychological activities and strategies for building and maintaining good mental health.

Unlike most online programs, the mobile app has also been designed by, and for, First Nations peoples using metaphors, images, videos and stories drawn from local Aboriginal artists so that they’re given the best chance at receiving the appropriate support. These cultural elements are then adapted to clinically based interactive learning activities, monitoring tools and personalised support that users can access every day to keep on top of their mental health and wellbeing.

Black Dog Institute’s partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led and community organisations have also been crucial to getting the app into the hands of those who need it most. Eora Tafe, Selectability, NRL, WellMob, Culture is Life, and Homelands are just some organisations that have partnered with Black Dog Institute to deliver the app to local communities across the country.

Through this three-year partnership with Black Dog Institute since late 2018, and the ongoing delivery of the app, we hope to help address the gaps in mental health support experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth and prevent chronic health issues from occurring later in life.

iBobbly is available to be downloaded free on the Apple App Store, opens in a new tab or Google Play Store, opens in a new tab. To find out more, visit Black Dog Institutes website, opens in a new tab.

*Number of survey respondents = 35

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