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Project Synergy

Supporting young people's mental health with digital technology
Our team is creating an innovative online ecosystem of care to support young people with their mental health with better data and more efficiency.

We're using new online technologies to develop specialised programs for people with mental health problems. In time, this technology may be used as the first point of contact in clinical care and can play a role in changing lives. 

This project incorporates a range of apps and web-based tools that young people can use to manage their wellbeing and mental health. Synergy uses data collected through these digital technologies to:

  • improve wellbeing
  • promote help-seeking behaviours
  • facilitate clinical care and engagement with online and face-to-face clinical services

By providing seamless support from online services through to healthcare providers, Synergy aims to improve the system of care in Australia’s youth mental health services. We are currently running a trial of the Synergy ecosystem through headspace.

Together with the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre and supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Health, we have developed Project Synergy, an innovative e-mental health ecosystem of care for young people.

Our people

Shane Cross

Shane Cross

Dr. Shane Cross is the Director of Clinical and Service Implementation on Project Synergy; a Clinical Researcher in the Youth Mental Health Research Team at the Brain and Mind Centre of The University of Sydney and a Senior Clinical Psychologist with 20 years’ experience in child, adolescent and young adult mental health across primary, secondary and tertiary service settings. For the past 10 years, he has worked in clinical leadership and management roles across 3 headspace services. 

His PhD research, under Professor Ian Hickie, was in the design and implementation of a novel clinical staging stepped-care service model. Its aim is to provide more personalised care by aligning the needs of the person to the appropriate level of intervention, while routinely monitoring clinical and functional outcomes. This clinical model has since been implemented in a number of early intervention services in Australia and internationally. His primary current research interest is in testing new clinical interventions and service models aided by technology in real world services, and measuring the impact on service quality. He sits on a number of mental health advisory boards in the community, provides training and supervision to health professionals and lectures in a number of postgraduate mental health courses. 

Tracey Davenport

Tracey Davenport

Tracey Davenport is the Director of Research, Governance & Analytics on Project Synergy as well as Researcher on the Youth Mental Health Research Team at the Brain and Mind Centre. She has over 20 years experience working with different research methodologies pertaining to mental health projects in the Australian community, primary care and more recently technology-enabled solutions for mental health services reform.

Tracey has also been involved in several large-scale public health and government initiatives including beyondblue, headspace, Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre and now InnoWell (a joint venture between The University of Sydney and PricewaterhouseCoopers [PwC]).