Innovation in mental health services is critical to meeting the changing needs of our community and support its wellbeing. This program, led by Dr Stephanie Liddicoat and Dr Liz Seabrook, explores the nexus between the physical and digital systems involved in mental health support. We place emphasis on the stories of lived experience, engaging with people and communities to understand and address their mental health needs. 

Our program themes include: 

  • cultures of mental health 
  • intelligent systems in mental health services and design 
  • society, space and emotion 
  • ethics and the law in mental health services and design. 

Current projects and partnerships

Healthy sleep habits are important for mental wellbeing in general, but especially so for people working at non-optimal times of the day. The typical working day for many employees in the horse racing industry begins pre-dawn, so good sleep habits are essential for day-to-day functioning and mental wellbeing.  

We’re aiming to produce, deploy and evaluate a web-based smartphone app that supports good sleep hygiene practices in this group of employees. Our interdisciplinary group consists of members of the Centre for Mental Health, Centre for Social Impact and Centre for Design Innovation, as well as a statistician and a psychologist.

Completed projects and partnerships

We partnered with Family Life to undertake a multi-disciplinary approach to generating solutions that embrace the context of young parents’ lives and empower them towards doing better so their children grow up safe and well-supported by the community. Family Life’s partner, Life Without Barriers, serves vulnerable young people and parents throughout Australia and will work with Family Life to scale the project results for national impact. 

Young mothers with a history of family difficulties or growing up in care may find themselves without family or secure supports. They and their young children may be at risk of repeating history unless they receive vital support. This project aims to explore what new strategies would appeal to these young parents whose lived experience makes them wary of the social services system, and how technology might allow resources to be applied more effectively.  

Read our report ‘Doing better for vulnerable young parents and their children: an exploration of how technology could catalyse system transformation’ on the APO website

Known as The Code Grey Project, we developed guidelines for rural services to preserve safety — using literature/policy scoping, interviews and community co-design — and developed an online toolkit to directly improve rural community safety.

Explore our other research programs

Contact the Social Innovation Research Institute

If your organisation would like to collaborate with us to solve a complex problem, or you simply want to contact our team, get in touch by calling +61 3 9214 8180 or emailing

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