Reaching the hard-to-reach: how information communication technologies can reach young people at greater risk of mental health difficulties

Australas Psychiatry. 2011 Jul;19 Suppl 1:S58-61. doi: 10.3109/10398562.2011.583077.


Objective: Inspire and partners have built an evidence base examining the role technology can play in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people at increased risk of developing mental health difficulties. This paper explores these findings collectively and considers how to best use information communication technologies (ICT) to meet the mental health needs of diverse young people aged 14-25.

Conclusions: ICT offers relevant and innovative strategies for young people at increased risk of developing mental health difficulties. Whilst many young people experience social isolation and stigma, the manifestation of these issues and the strategies required to address them vary. ICT-based programs will benefit from identifying which protective factors can be most positively influenced through the unique properties of ICT, amongst whom and how. Challenges to ICT-based health services include inadequate access and training, lower literacy levels and the need for specialized technologies for people with disabilities.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Computer Communication Networks / organization & administration*
  • Consumer Health Information / methods*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Program Development