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The Future Proofing Study: Design, methods and baseline characteristics of a prospective cohort study of the mental health of Australian adolescents

Research Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing
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Authors: Werner-Seidler, A., Maston, K., Calear, A.L., Batterham, P., Larsen, M.E., Torok, M., O’Dea, B., Huckvale, K., Beames, J.R., Brown, L., Fujimoto, H., Bartholomew, A., Bal, D., Schweizer, S., Skinner, S.R., Steinbeck, K., Ratcliffe, J., Oei, J., Venkatesh, S., Lingam, R., Perry, Y., Hudson, J.L., Boydell, K.M., Mackinnon, A., & Christensen, H.
Date of publication: 2022
Journal: International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research

Summary: The Future Proofing Study (FPS) was established to examine factors associated with the onset and course of mental health conditions during adolescence. Young people are especially vulnerable to mental ill health, with around 75% of mental health problems emerging before the age of 25. However, reaching this group at scale remains a challenge. The Future Proofing Study aims to discover how we can use the devices in our pockets – smartphones – to deliver preventative interventions on a large scale. Studies of this size are commonplace for cardiovascular and cancer research but have never been attempted before for prevention of mental health problems. This world-first trial aims to predict and prevent anxiety and depression in thousands of Australian students aged 13–18, making it the largest study of its kind in the field of mental health.

Of note, the researchers found that 3.2% of Year 8 students in their study identified as gender diverse. They also found that gender and sexuality diverse students were at significantly higher risk of poorer mental health due to stigma, discrimination, and victimisation at home, school, and in the community.

You can read the full study here.

You can find out more about the Future Proofing Study here and access a summary of findings here.