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Mobile app ‘niggle’ launched as mental health resource for young people

First published 31 October 2019

yourtown has unveiled mental health technology that makes it dramatically easier and faster for teenagers and young people to access evidence based wellness resources at their fingertips through the ‘niggle by Kids Helpline’ mobile app.

yourtown collaborated with QUT to create a research-driven app to allow young people to identify any mental health concern or ‘niggle’. Hundreds of built in resources and guided strategies on the free niggle app assists them to address those issues,” said yourtown Chief Executive Officer Tracy Adams.

“I’m excited that the new ‘niggle by Kids Helpline’ mobile app can work either in conjunction with Kids Helpline’s existing services or can be used as a stand-alone option providing trusted evidence-based resources to a potential new audience of young people who may not have previously sought help through traditional means,” said Ms Adams.

“niggle by Kids Helpline is a wellbeing toolkit that promotes self-help using the full resources of Kids Helpline to offer valuable information to teens and young people to check and monitor their mental health and wellbeing. Most importantly this new app is youth-driven, it has been designed with young people for young people. 

“Supporting technology initiatives like the niggle app is an example of how yourtown’s Kids Helpline can offer safety-net options regardless of where in Australia the user is located. Online apps such as these make it possible for young people to access help in a way that is comfortable for them and without the stigma that they may feel when accessing traditional mental health support services.

“We think young people are going to love the confidentiality and convenience of this new mental health app.”

The app is the result of rigorous research over the past three years by an inter-disciplinary team of young people, counsellors, researchers, designers and mental health experts. The QUT collaboration was led by Dr Oksana Zelenko, Director – Research Impact and Excellence in the Creative Industries faculty.

“The evidence-based app was designed to suit teenagers and young people 13 to 25 years of age with the unique point of difference that niggle by Kids Helpline had an initial pilot study that involved about 700 young people,” said  Dr Zelenko (pictured right at the launch).

Dr Zelenko added the project received $356,000 funding from the Australia Research Council Linkage Project scheme which prioritises research collaborations between University and industry. 

“The niggle app is completely novel in how it blends traditional and mobile mental health interventions to benefit the wellbeing of young Australians. I can see it could also have a future on a global level,” she said.

Kids Helpline is a service of yourtown.  Last financial year it was 80% funded by the yourtown Art Union, donations and corporate support.  Federal and State Governments funded 20%.

If young people want to talk to someone they can call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or use email or web counselling services: kidshelpline.com.au.

Photos: T.J. Thomson

Media contact:

Amanda Weaver, QUT Media, 07 3138 3151, amanda.weaver@qut.edu.au

After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901, media@qut.edu.au

yourtown Corporate Communications & Media Advisor: Maree Reason-Cain, 0423 843 786 OR mreason-cain@yourtown.com.au