Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre

A group of young people standing together holding and looking at their mobile phones.

The Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre will conduct research to understand the role of online and networked media for improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people aged 12 to 25. The Young and Well CRC brings together young people with researchers, practitioners and innovators from 75 organisations (opens in a new window), from across the not-for-profit, academic, government and corporate sectors to conduct research which helps us better understand how technologies can be used to ensure that all young Australians are safe, happy healthy and resilient.

The three interconnected research programs are made up of diverse, innovative projects that consider all young people, young people who are vulnerable to ill mental health, and young people experiencing mental health difficulties. The research investigates the role of technology in these young people's lives, and how technology can be used to improve their mental health and wellbeing. Program 1, Safe and Supportive, is exploring technologies as settings to promote cybersafety and strengthen the resilience, mental health and wellbeing of all young people. Program 2, Connected and Creative, is investigating technologies as enablers of good mental health for young people who are vulnerable. Program 3, User Driven and Empowered, is examining technologies as facilitators of good mental health for young people with mental health difficulties.

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The Young and Well CRC is an engaged research entity that prioritises collaborative, interdisciplinary research in its aim to leverage the potential of young people's technology use to better support their mental health and wellbeing. The Young and Well CRC sees humanities and social sciences research as playing a key role in tackling the complex social problems it addresses. There is recognition across the youth mental health sector that the medical paradigm has reached the limits of its capacity to effectively address the problem and that new approaches are required.

The Young and Well CRC tackles the challenge of youth mental health by seeking, among other things, to better understand and harness the socio-cultural dimensions of technology practices for positive effect. Its key innovations are:

  • The mass mobilisation of youth and mental health sectors to understand and address mental health and wellbeing in young people in a coordinated way
  • A strengths-based approach to youth that fosters the mobilisation of youth participation methodologies in the development of solutions germane to young people
  • A belief that technology – understood in all its complexity – is an untapped resource for addressing the youth mental health challenge

In the context of the need for a more holistic, coordinated and cultural approach to the study of mental health and wellbeing and young people's digital practices, the sector has come to recognise the key role of social and cultural research in producing long-term, meaningful social and cultural change. The Young and Well CRC firmly places Humanities and Social Sciences research at the heart of two of its three research programs. In doing so, it takes up the challenge of interdisciplinary collaboration, and critically reflects upon the attendant practical and epistemological issues.

The Young and Well CRC is the first ever 'social good' CRC to receive federal government funding. The research of the Young and Well CRC is founded in an 'engaged research' paradigm. This invites stakeholder collaboration to set the research agenda, develop and test new methodologies, and theorise and analyse the research findings. This is complemented by a commitment to conceptualise and facilitate effective practices of knowledge brokering and translation involving a range of actors, institutions and networks and including young people themselves.

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The Young and Well CRC is a complex organisation working across the intersections of academic, corporate, not-for-profit and government organisations. If complex problems require complex solutions then the complexity and diversity of the Young and Well CRC is a key resource for addressing the youth mental health challenge and offers the possibility of unprecedented new knowledge and solutions. Capturing this potential requires sophisticated approaches to knowledge brokering, the capacity to capitalise on digital research methods, and tools for negotiating complexity.

The Institute hosts leadership of Young and Well CRC Research Program 1, Safe and Supportive, led by Dr Philippa Collin, and Research Program 2, Connected and Creative, led by Associate Professor Amanda Third.

Researchers

  • Associate Professor Amanda Third
  • Dr Philippa Collin
  • Professor Bob Hodge
  • Dr Ann Dadich
  • Associate Professor Kerry Robinson
  • Dr Peter Bansel
  • Dr Nida Denson
  • Dr Justine Humphry
  • Dr Louise Crabtree
  • Professor Craig McGarty
  • Dr Teresa Swist
  • Dr Emma Keltie
  • Ms Delphine Bellerose
  • Ms Kari Pihl
  • Ms Jane McCormack

See the Researchers page for biographies of the researchers.


Three logos in a line: Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, An Australian Government Initiative, and CRC Australia

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