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Thinker will explore technology and mental health

The 2016-17 Thinker in Residence will be e-mental health researcher and advocate Professor Jane Burns.

The Commissioner said the appointment of Professor Burns is a key initiative in his work to promote an increased focus on how innovation, technology and social media can be used to strengthen children and young people’s mental health.

“Professor Burns has undertaken extensive research on new and emerging technologies and how they can be used to improve mental health service delivery,” Mr Pettit said.

“Young people’s high usage of technology and social media should be better harnessed to address some ongoing issues children and young people experience in accessing appropriate mental health services, particularly those living in regional and remote areas of the state.

“I am very pleased that several government and non-government agencies are formally partnering with my office and keen to explore how Professor Burns’ work and research can be applied here in WA.”

Professor Burns’ work includes strategies that parents and professionals can use to help young people increase their ‘digital resilience’ so they can manage their online safety and navigate to supports and networks that promote positive mental health.

Professor Burns will outline these strategies for parents at a seminar to be held on Monday 24 October 2016 at 7pm at Churchlands Senior High School.

The 2016-17 Thinker in Residence will be held in two phases:

  • 24 to 28 October 2016 (Children’s Week)
  • 13 to 16 March 2017

More information is available on the Thinker in Residence section of the Commissioner’s website.