Mobile phones and the Internet will be used to help people manage their mental health problems.
The Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, has announced that $1.88 million will go to the project at the Black Dog Institute, which is affiliated with UNSW's Faculty of Medicine.
The unique approach uses the internet and mobile phones to help people track their wellbeing in areas including mood, appetite, sleep, medication, physical activity and drug and alcohol use.
"Information is fed back to the users on how they are going, and alerts are sent when things aren't going well, along with links to appropriate self-help tools," says Senior Research Fellow Judy Proudfoot, from the School of Psychiatry, who is the lead researcher on the project.
"This is important because it allows 'just-in- time' monitoring, whereas normally monitoring of patients is retrospective," says Dr Proudfoot. "It allows for better support of the patient and more accurate information for the clinician.
"For example, if a patient reports that he or she has been feeling anxious and not sleeping well, they would receive an alert pointing to tools for managing anxiety and giving tips for sleeping better," she says. "The alert may also recommend discussing the issues with a GP or clinician."
The system will allow people to print off reports so they can take them to their clinicians.
The Minister announced the funding as part of a package of $50 million it will be spending on mental health.