A digitally enabled, transformative approach to prevent and treat PTSD in defined populations.

Overview: The COVID-19 crisis has significantly increased levels of psychological and social distress in the community, even among those who have not been directly exposed. This very timely project aims to evaluate a digitally enabled, transformative approach to prevent and treat PTSD and associated co-morbid mental health conditions in response to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, bushfires, drought and other crises. The RecoveryOnline e-hub resources and associated activities will be informed by the new Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD approved by NHMRC Council on 23 June 2020. The project will focus on increasing e-hub reach into trauma-affected communities and engaging target groups, providing self-screening and then navigating individuals to available human and digital supports. The project will serve as a model for the iterative evaluation and systematic improvement of a contemporary, data driven approach to the implementation of evidence-based guidelines. The team will collaborate with the Nepean Blue Mountains PHN in NSW and the North Western Melbourne PHN in Victoria. The region heavily impacted by recent bushfires and the heavily impacted by COVID-19; both have been significantly affected by the recent economic fallout. The project is co-developed with health system and other national partners including the Australian Red Cross which plays a central role in disaster management across Australia, through its work in disaster preparedness, response and recovery. We are proposing a model in which research organisations working with a variety of implementation partners provide a population-wide, affordable solution to significantly increase the reach of guideline-specific interventions provided to defined populations.  
Project LeadsProf Brian Oldenburg, Dr Dominika Kwasnicka, Prof Barr Taylor, Dr Tilman Dingler
Project team membersDr Annie Lau, Prof Paul Scuffham, Prof Joe Ruzek, Prof Derrick Silove, A/Prof Andrea Phelps, Prof David Forbes
ReferencesReference here.
Brian Oldenburg
Brian Oldenburg

Professor and Director, Noncommunicable Disease Control Unit and Director, WHO Collaborating Centre on Implementation Research for Prevention and Control of NCDs,CRE Director