Free mental wellbeing support for Queenslanders - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

USC News

Free mental wellbeing support for Queenslanders

24 Aug 2020

A free program for Queenslanders wishing to proactively support their mental wellbeing has today commenced through USC’s Thompson Institute.

The eight-week preventative program, EMERALD, offers one-on-one telehealth appointments and online education for adults with new feelings of worry, loneliness or gloominess, perhaps due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Institute Director and leading neuroscientist Professor Jim Lagopoulos said EMERALD supported people to implement healthy lifestyle strategies proven to help regain mental wellbeing early.

“EMERALD is designed to help people get on top of early signs of depression, anxiety or loneliness – before they worsen or become longer-term,” Professor Lagopoulos said.

“This kind of proactive mental wellbeing care is vital to aid prevention, and it’s particularly important now as we all face the repercussions of COVID-19 and the resulting predicted rises in mental ill-health,” he said.

Professor Lagopoulos said EMERALD would support people to put in place healthy self-care habits that are backed by neuroscience, including strategies related to social connection, mindfulness, sleep, diet and exercise.

“Participants receive one-on-one telehealth support from our allied health professionals to make lifestyle changes that are realistic and right for them, but also have access to online education that helps them understand why and how these strategies improve the health of their brain and mind,” he said.

“The program aims to give participants knowledge and strategies that they can use now and for life to proactively support their mental wellbeing,” he said.

Professor Lagopoulos said EMERALD’s eight-week program was free to Queenslanders thanks to Queensland Health funding.

EMERALD is already being offered to older members of the community through social support service provider Be, thanks to Australian Government Department of Health funding.

Be CEO Feda Adra said EMERALD was one way of helping their clients, who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and its impacts, to stay resilient and well.

Queenslanders can register for EMERALD via the website Eligibility criteria apply.

Related articles

Research finds new way to help frail older people
30 Sep

A $6.9 million global research project involving USC as the only Australian partner has developed a new monitoring and intervention system to slow or even reverse the progression of frailty among older adults.

R U OK? Day: Expert says coping strategies are key
9 Sep

The pressures and challenges of COVID-19 have made healthy coping strategies more important than ever, says USC Clinical Psychology Professor Helen Stallman.

Mental health app helping Coast through COVID
13 Jul

A free digital platform that curates mental health and suicide prevention services on the Sunshine Coast has proven its worth in recent months, with the service accessed almost 1,000 times since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place.

Contact the USC media team

Name Position Email Phone
Terry Walsh Manager, Media and Messaging +61 7 5430 1160
Janelle Kirkland Media Relations Coordinator +61 7 5459 4553
Clare McKay Media Relations Officer (Regional) +61 7 5456 5669

Search results for

Recent news