Head of ACU’s School of Psychology, Faculty of Health
Sciences, Professor John Gleeson has won the Campus Travel’s 2015 travel grant
for using technology to help young people with mental health problems.
Professor Gleeson’s application stood out from 580
applications as an initiative that would have a positive and far-reaching
impact on young people’s lives worldwide.
In his application he said his research group was “committed
to helping young people afflicted by serious mental health problems by using
cutting edge technology.”
“We have pioneered a highly novel web-based treatment system
entitled Moderated Online Social Therapy (MOST). Within a single application,
MOST integrates purpose-built online social networking, evidence-based online
therapy, and online peer and expert moderation,” said in his application.
“MOST has been designed to enhance the accessibility and
effectiveness of existing specialist youth mental health programs. We have made
significant progress with three pilot studies completed and a single-site RCT
currently underway. Results have been highly promising in terms of sustaining
patient engagement, usability and safety.
“However, to have a global impact, we need to investigate if
any benefits from MOST translate across cultural and geographical contexts.
Researchers in Europe and North America are seeking to evaluate our MOST
application for youth with psychosis, entitled Horyzons, in their local
“This coincides with a major expansion of early psychosis
services internationally. Therefore, we plan to undertake collaborative design
workshops with colleagues in North America and Europe to prepare a multi-centre
clinical trial of Horyzons for youth recovering from early psychosis.
“The outcome from this anticipated RCT could significantly
improve outcomes for thousands of young people worldwide.”