Over 2 in 5 Australians aged 16-85 are estimated to have experienced a mental health concern at some time in their life, with 1 in 5 having experienced a mental health concern in the previous 12 months.*
The National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing revealed that the prevalence of mental health concerns in 16-24-year-olds rose by 50%, from 26% in 2007 to 39% in 2021.
For various reasons including the pandemic and national rental crisis, the demand for mental health services has increased, with young people struggling to find the support that they need and often facing long wait times.
To help alleviate the demand, Youturn is fundraising for additional tools and innovative solutions to complement our mental health programs to support young people whilst they wait for, or in between their appointments.
In 2022, Youturn approached Scientia Professor Jill Bennett from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), who has been conducting research in the potential of immersive virtual reality (VR) as an intervention method for individuals suffering mental health concerns such as anxiety, ADHD and depression.
The world’s first virtual reality (VR) environment for mental health and suicide prevention, ‘Edge of the Present’ (EOTP), is an innovative and powerful non-therapeutic tool designed as a 10-minute experience, where users are invited to explore multiple spectacular landscapes using mixed-reality software, with the aim of improving mood, wellbeing, and positive future thinking. Enabling users to recreate real-life experience, the EOTP VR program, encourages positive thinking and decision making and has proven to significantly alleviate thoughts of hopelessness and stimulate a sense of peace and mindfulness in people with clinical disorders.
Through Youturn’s partnership with both UNSW and Black Dog Institute, we were able to bring a pilot project to Maroochydore. Following the success of this project, the EOTP VR program is back in 2024, and this time we are partnering with Movember to bring an updated version to each of our headspace centres.
Starting in our headspace Maroochydore centre, this version has been improved to allow a more mobile setup, enabling the trial of the program to be implemented in each of our other headspace centres in Bundaberg, Caboolture, Gympie and Toowoomba.
To find out more about the EOTP VR program, and when to expect it at your local headspace centre, stay tuned on our social media channels.
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Youturn is a not-for-profit charity started over 30 years ago to help address youth homelessness in the Sunshine Coast region.
Youturn is now a national organisation with a multidisciplinary team of almost 200 staff and last year supported over 16,000 vulnerable people through our range of services including accommodation, homelessness, mental health, and suicide prevention.
In mental health, Youturn has delivered youth support services through the headspace model since 2012, when the first centre in Maroochydore was opened. Youturn now manages five centres across South Queensland including Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Maroochydore, Caboolture, and Gympie.
Youturn media contact: Antoinette Lloyd
Program Manager, Communications and Partnerships
Mob: 0474 421 100
(*Australian Bureau of Statistics. National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing. ABS, 2022)