Mental illness is common in Australia.
45% of us will experience a mental illness (or sometimes called a mental disorder) at some stage in our life. The most common mental illnesses include anxiety disorders, depressive disorders and substance abuse disorders.
At any given point in time around 1 in 5 (20%) of us will have a diagnosable mental illness.
For a smaller proportion of the population (around 3%, >600,000 people), their mental illness will be described as ‘severe’ or ‘chronic’, based on high intensity of symptoms, chronic duration of illness and/or extensive disability caused. These include primarily schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, severe depression or severe anxiety disorders.
Severe mental illness is not necessarily a barrier to living a life well lived, but it does commonly require ongoing treatment and monitoring.
Technology is increasingly seen as a valuable tool in that ongoing monitoring process.
A team of researchers from Flinders, with expertise in digital psychiatry, have developed a system that uses PBS and MBS data (the kind that is created when you have a medical appointment, or a pharmacy drug purchase) to monitor (with permission) the status of individuals with severe or chronic mental illness.
They are looking for individuals with severe or chronic mental illness to participate in early trials of the system.
You can find out more here.
Remember that participation in these kinds of trials is entirely voluntary and you can withdraw at any point. Make sure that you read the patient information page, the patient information sheet and the consent form.
Mental health professionals can also get involved.