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100,000 students and staff will gain access to the free mental health and wellbeing app.

Thrive: the free mental health app from Monash

More than 100,000 students and staff at Monash University will have access to free mental health and wellbeing support through a new smartphone app.

The Thrive smartphone app was rolled out to the Monash community – providing mental health support in response to the challenges and needs reported by students throughout Victoria’s pandemic lockdowns.

Developed by Thrive researchers at the Turner Institute, and co-designed by students, the app encourages users to check in daily, be more aware of their feelings, and identify if they’re struggling.

Turner Institute director and Thrive co-lead Professor Kim Cornish said the app is unique in Australia because it is a not-for-profit resource that records no student data.

"There are hundreds of mental health apps available via app stores, and unfortunately, many share private health information with third parties without disclosing it," Professor Cornish said.

"Thrive has been developed by a mental health research-trained lab for the community good, with privacy, co-design and evidence-based research baked into the development from day one - and it’s free for all users."

Users can log and monitor trends in their mood and access well-being resources covering topics like dealing with stress, mindfulness and breathing exercises, journaling, and procrastination-fighting tools.

Thrive co-lead and lead researcher Melinda McCabe said the app’s intensive design phase included two clinical trial-type studies, one with over 60 students and another with over 150 students. 

"The main goal of the app is to help students become more aware of their mental health and to seek help early if they need it," Ms McCabe said. 

"We hope all students find something within the app that they benefit from, whether it's the journaling tools called the ‘Wheel of Feels’ or the evidence-based Pomodoro timer to fight procrastination when their workload starts to build."

"We wanted something for everyone."

The Thrive app is available to all Monash students and staff with an active Monash email address and is available for free through all major app stores.

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