Almost half of Australians will experience mental ill health at some point in their lives, however nearly 70 per cent of those with a known mental health condition do not seek professional help due to factors such as stigma, cost, limited access to care and fear of hospitalisation. Most mental health problems are present and established between the ages of 14-24, highlighting the importance of early detection and intervention.
Aside from the human cost of mental illness, the economic burden is considerable, with a reported $10.6 billion spent on Australian mental health services and reported productivity losses in industry due to mental ill health being as high as $39 billion per year. As such, improving the mental health of the Australian population is not only a significant societal need, but also a government priority that requires attention.
There are significant opportunities for AI to help in this domain, from facilitating data supported decision making in hospitals through to enabling self-directed intervention via everyday technologies.
We are proposing a cross-disciplinary cohort of 20 PhD and Masters students across Melbourne, Monash and Monash Malaysia (independently funded) Universities to explore innovative approaches towards AI driven methods and solutions, driven by real-world industry priorities.