Summary: 

Who is the AIMhi app for?

The AIMhi Stay Strong App is designed to focus on wellbeing and is for use with Indigenous clients by Aboriginal Health Workers, nurses, GPs, allied health professionals, community workers and others within clinical and community settings.

Who developed the AIMhi app?

Menzies School of Health Research and Queensland University of Technology worked in collaboration, basing the app on the tools developed with Indigenous people for Indigenous clients as part of the Aboriginal and Islander Mental Health Initiative (AIMhi) program of research.

Watch demonstrations of the AIMhi Stay Strong App:
What were the aims:
  • To develop and trial a structured mental health and substance misuse intervention using Indigenous specific content and imagery in a computerised (i.e.tablet-based application) format. This is to assist therapists to deliver a structured, evidence based, and culturally appropriate intervention to their Indigenous clients.  
What were the objectives:

AIMhi App screenshots:


How to use the app:

The program contains a number of steps and aims to help clients improve their wellbeing. Individuals are asked to:

  • Identify friends and family who help keep them strong and healthy
  • Identify their strengths relating to spiritual and cultural, physical, family, social and work and mental and emotional aspects of their lives  - represented visually as leaves on a tree. As they input more strengths, the leaves grow stronger and healthier
  • Identify things in their life that take away their strength in the same four areas 
  • Identify a goal for change to work on
  • Develop a plan for achieving their goal by breaking it down into manageable steps.

The App gives a visual representation of the areas in the person’s life where they are strong and the areas in their life where they are not as strong and assists clients in their plans for making change. The process is assisted and supported by the health provider and the App provides help text and audio instructions to address low English literacy. A summary of the Stay Strong Plan can then be exported, emailed and/or printed to keep a record of the session for clients and health providers.

Our research found: 

The original AIMhi Stay Strong Care Planning tools translated easily into electronic format, providing an engaging approach to addressing mental health, wellbeing and substance misuse issues for Indigenous clients. The electronic format is interactive and may help to overcome some of the barriers associated with a paper format in the context of low literacy and a history of institutionalisation. The developed intervention will assist services to deliver cost-effective, evidence-based holistic treatment.

How does the App complement practice?

While the AIMhi Stay Strong Care Plan is already being used by health and community services across Australia, the Stay Strong App provides a more engaging, client-friendly format. The App may additionally complement aspects of client assessment and treatment. As part of the eMental Health in Practice (eMHPrac) project, we are providing training and support for organisations interested in using the App. Find out about training in the AIMhi Stay Strong App here.

Feedback

We would appreciate any feedback on how the App could be improved.

Chief investigators:
Contact information:
Collaborators:
  • Queensland University of Technology.
Acknowledgements:

Thanks to Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) for producing the audio recordings.

  1. Mental health app reaches out to Indigenous Australians

    Mental health app reaches out to Indigenous Australians

    Date

    A pioneering iPad app which visually represents an individualís strengths and weakness is hoping to significantly improve Indigenous mental health; one of the nationís fastest growing health problems.

  2. New app to improve Indigenous mental health featured on World Mental Health Day

    New app to improve Indigenous mental health featured on World Mental Health Day

    Date

    An innovative iPad app based on tools developed by Indigenous people for Indigenous people is hoping to address one of the nationís fastest growing health problems.

  1. Dingwall, K.M., Puszka, S., Sweet, M., & Nagel, T. (2015). “Like drawing into sand”: Acceptability, feasibility and appropriateness of a new e-mental health resource for service providers working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Australian Psychologist, 50, 60-9.