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LIVIN Strong Program has firm grip on future, thanks to CQUni

Published:01 February 2018

Psychological Science students Kristie-Lee Alfrey, Jaime Neal and Kate Cope garnered a CQUni Social Innovation Opal Award for their mental health evaluation project, executed under the expert guidance of Senior Lecturer Dr Amanda Rebar (second from right).

When social issue campaigners LIVIN approached CQUni requesting a mental health evaluation project, three Psychological Science students jumped at the chance.

Under the expert guidance of CQUni Senior Lecturer Dr Amanda Rebar, students Kristie-Lee Alfrey, Jaime Neal and Kate Cope worked with LIVIN co-founder and CEO Sam Webb to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the LIVIN Strong Program.

This pilot program – which is collaboratively delivered by LIVIN, the North Queensland Cowboys and Kirwan State High School – aims to improve mental health awareness, and reduce the prevalence of suicide among Australian youth.

Ms Alfrey described the project as “an invaluable experience”.

“Firstly, to take part in a real life experience of qualitative and quantitative research was extremely attractive; more importantly, the project will aid the mental health and wellbeing of the future generations, and the destigmatisation of expressing emotion, particularly for our young men,” she explained.

“We conducted mixed-method research, including one-on-one interviews with students, to determine its effectiveness and aid the program’s future development.”

“Tackling the stigma of metal health and suicide prevention could not be more relevant in our communities; sadly, there seems to be a need for programs that specifically speak to boys and young men.”

Mr Webb said the students’ evaluation proved instrumental to the education program and would assist with generational change.

“The evaluation data provided will be responsible for the future development and validation of the LIVIN Strong program; and know that we are indeed making a difference,” he said.

An exceptional outcome resulted from the evaluation project with LIVIN ensuring their messages delivered maximum impact and students being provided with the mental health knowledge to better support themselves and their family and friends.

Additionally, the project undertaken by the trio was recognised by CQUni with a prestigious Social Innovation Opal (Student) Award for Excellence in Engagement.

Embedding social innovation principles across its five schools, and at all campuses and study centres, CQUni works with government, industry, business and community to empower students to solve real-life challenges locally and internationally.

Held simultaneously across the nation in November, the CQUniversity Opal Awards for Excellence in Engagement recognised and encouraged outstanding engagement by CQUniversity staff and students with the community, as well as internally within the University.

For more information on the LIVIN program, visit www.livin.org.