We design, evaluate and promote mental health interventions to help Australia’s young people grow up into resilient adults. Our work ensures the latest and most effective interventions can be used by governments, schools and communities.

Continuum of Care

  • Prevention
  • Treatment
  • Continuing Care
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  • Pregnancy
  • Infancy
  • Toddlerhood
  • Childhood
  • Adolescence
  • Young Adulthood
  • Middle Adulthood
  • Late Adulthood
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Mental disorders are on the rise in Australia

Youth mental health problems have become increasingly common despite increased investment in mental health treatments. The number of Australian young people in psychological distress has increased from 1 in 5 in 2012 to 1 in 4 in 2020, according to a biennial report produced by Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute.

Treating mental disorders as they occur is not enough. We need greater investment in evidence-based prevention and positive youth development – an approach that seeks to optimise young people’s social and emotional development.

Ensuring positive youth development interventions are effective

We develop and evaluate interventions that support positive development right from conception and throughout adulthood. Interventions may involve programs, treatments or other actions (such as online resources) aimed at supporting general health and wellbeing, and/or treating or preventing a specific problem.

We focus on interventions that support:

  • parent and child emotion regulation (ability to manage emotions)
  • parenting
  • child and adolescent wellbeing and health.

We help communities access mental health research

Australians should benefit from the latest mental health research. We are building conceptual frameworks to help governments, communities and education systems adopt effective mental health interventions in a sustainable way.

Our research must reach people who need it in a format they can use. To make sure support is available to everyone in the community, we design interventions that work within community and family-school partnerships. Many use technology like smartphones and machine learning.

<!–We also support systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials of interventions that address problems or promote strengths at a population rather than an individual level. These reviews feed into a continuously updating evidence-based intervention database powered by machine learning, the SEED POD.

SEED POD is a freely available web platform that curates population-level interventions designed to promote social and emotional health in children, adolescents and young adults.

We rate each intervention to indicate the strength of scientific evidence available to support them. Users of SEED POD can be confident that highly-rated programs are effective according to the latest research.–>

Meet the SEED Intervention Sciences team

Professor John Toumbourou and Dr Elizabeth Westrupp co-lead the SEED Lifespan Intervention Sciences theme. For more information, contact seed-admin@deakin.edu.au.

SEED conducts world-leading research on social development and its origins in early emotional life.

We work closely with Deakin partners such as Communities that Care Ltd and Barwon Child Youth and Family.