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Social Connectedness

Two women smiling. Photo crdit: RybazoidThe main objective of the Social Connectedness Research Program is to develop an evidence-based psychological intervention for individuals who report distressing levels of loneliness. The intervention will be delivered either via digital technology (smartphone applications) and/or face-to face group treatment programs. This program is led by Dr Michelle Lim, who is supported by a team of local and international researchers. The program is jointly funded by Swinburne University of Technology and the Barbara Dicker Brain Sciences Foundation. Find out more about loneliness.

Photo credit: Rybazoid

Current projects

We are looking for different groups of people to participate in several research projects, from university students to adults who experience psychosis. The projects aim to provide guidance around how to improve the quality of your relationships with others using smartphone apps or group therapy.

+Connect smartphone intervention

+Connect is a digital intervention addressing loneliness that is delivered via smartphone technology over six weeks. We will be recruiting participants aged 18–25 who are currently receiving mental health treatment from early psychosis services.

+Connect for Swinburne students

What is +Connect?

+Connect is a fun and engaging smartphone application developed for young people aged 18 to 25 years old. It was co-designed by young people for young people.

+Connect is a strengths-based program which helps you identify your strengths. The app delivers evidence-based material to help you establish new relationships, or strengthen relationships you already have, or boost your confidence to turn acquaintances into friends.

What you will see?

It involves the user engaging with a range of tasks. Each day is different. One day you will watch a video that of how things could be different when behaving in a more positive way when interacting with a friend. On another, you may watch a video of how young people navigate conflict within their relationships.

You can choose to track your mood and complete challenges. You can earn points and win badges as you progress.

How long does it take?

+Connect takes less than 6 minutes a day to complete. There are 42 days of material that you can access.

Does it cost anything?

+Connect is freely accessibly only for Swinburne students.

How can I sign up?

To register, please read the information here: Register for +Connect. We will email you your login details and temporary password.

Positive Connect group program

This project involves a collaboration with Headspace Hawthorn and is currently recruiting young people aged 18–25.

Personalised interventions

In 2017-18 we will be recruiting people aged 18-25 to test face-to-face and digital personalised interventions targeting loneliness.

Contact us

If you would like to be involved in this research, please email the + Connect team at: or call us on 9214 4868.

Technical problems

If you are experiencing any technical problems with the + Connect smartphone app, please email the + Connect team at: or give us a call on +61 3 9214 4868.

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