05 February 2016

Teen girls using phone apps togetherInnovative new research, in collaboration with young people, has taken ‘Truth or Dare’ to a whole new level for 2016.

Dubbed Goalzie, the new free app has been developed to promote the idea that getting help from peers, developing a positive social network and setting and achieving goals is not only healthy, but fun.

The app targets young people aged 12 to 17 years old, and reinvents the old-school ‘Truth or Dare’ game for the next generation, all to help maintain their wellbeing.

Goalzie has been designed to encourage peer-to-peer interactions and goal-setting by giving players the opportunity to challenge friends and be challenged by them. Challenges might be physical, such as doing a dance work out; may target self-regulation, such as giving up chocolate for a week; or encourage creativity, such as making a Vine video.

The game allows players to set fun consequences for unachieved goals – doing chores, washing the family car or weeding the garden.

CEO of the Young and Well CRC, Associate Professor Jane Burns says research shows that up to 75 per cent of mental health difficulties develop before people reach the age of 25. 

“Evidence shows that 70 per cent of girls and about 80 per cent of boys don’t seek help to manage their mental health issues,” Assoc Prof Burns says. 

“Through apps like Goalzie we are trying to break down stigma and instil help-seeking behaviour using humour and gamification.” 

The app - created by the Young and Well CRC and the University of South Australia in conjunction with the Western Sydney University, Zuni and the Queensland University of Technology - was developed through a series of co-creation workshops with young people.

One of the campaign co-collaborators involved in the design and production of Goalzie, is 13-year-old Diya Mehta.

“Young people were fully immersed in the creative process, testing, improving and designing the app themselves,” she says.

“This all presents itself in the app; an important way for people to connect with themselves and others, all through a creative and playful medium.

“Created with infinite care, Goalzie transforms Truth or Dare into an engaging game, designed to seal bridges of friendship help bolster confidence, and improve goal-setting skills.”

As an added bonus, Goalzie also includes access to The Toolbox – a resource created by ReachOut Australia in partnership with the Young and Well CRC to further help young people seek help through identifying goals. 

The Toolbox provides a collection of over 50 health and wellbeing tools and apps endorsed by professionals and reviewed by people under 25 years old.

Lead researcher on the project, Dr Barbara Spears, from the University of South Australia, says Goalzie was trialled by young people and the research insights will be available mid-year.

“By practising setting goals for others, and helping them to achieve their goals in a fun way, young people are learning and establishing important, positive patterns of behaviour,” Dr Spears says.

“Being socially connected, and reaching out to others for help and assistance breaks down barriers and stigma about setting goals and seeking help to achieve them.

“We are now investigating how young people have engaged with Goalzie with a view to further understanding the potential of social marketing campaigns to improve wellbeing of young people.”

Visit www.goalzie.com.au and download the app now for iPhone or Android.

YAWCRC contact: Zoe Stephenson 0408 177 716 zoe@yawcrc.org.au 

UniSA contact: Michèle Nardelli office +61 883020966 mob 0418823673 email michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au


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