Dr Bridianne O’Dea
Mental Health, suicide prevention
Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales
Dr O’Dea looks at how we can improve access to mental healthcare through digital technologies like the Internet, mobile phones, and social media. In Australia, one in five people have a mental health issue. However, many people don’t seek help because they feel embarrassed, ashamed, or don’t know what help is available. She is testing out the ways in which technology can be used to identify people who need help, and then deliver care. Alongside other researchers, she has designed and built mobile phone apps to track mental health, offer information, and give therapy. By using technology, her research has the potential to help the tens of thousands of Australians get access to the mental healthcare they deserve.
Bridianne hopes to improve the mental health of Australians through awareness. She has given interviews for radio, TV and newspapers as well as giving talks at TEDx Sydney and the Pint of Science Festival. She also aims to integrate the lived experience of mental illness into her research and practice so that outcomes are relevant and translational, conducting five co-design workshops with youth in 6 high schools and was an invited guest presenter at four lived-experience events.