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Charity

Hello Sunday Morning

Project

Developing technology to change Australia's relationship with alcohol

Region

National

Funding

$912,000

Funding Dates

January 2015 - June 2018

The issue 

Lifestyle risk factors such as poor diet, physical inactivity and risky alcohol consumption continue to be leading causes of poor health in Australia.  Drinking alcohol at risky levels is one of the largest contributors to preventable burden of disease.

Hello Sunday Morning is a charity helping people to change their relationships with alcohol using cutting-edge technology. Since 2010, Hello Sunday Morning has grown to be the largest online movement for alcohol behaviour change in the world, with over 120,000 registered members to date.

Every year, nearly 400,000 Australians put their hand up looking for support to change their relationship with alcohol, with thousands more too afraid to ask. But despite spending over $1 billion a year to address the issue, only 30% of these people ever receive the help they need. Consequently, alcohol is responsible for 5,500 deaths every year - that's greater than our suicide rate and road toll combined.

The project 

After supporting the development of Hello Sunday Morning's first mobile app during 2015 and their new and improved Daybreak app in 2016, we are excited to be continuing our partnership in the coming years to support an innovative new addition to their alcohol behaviour change services.

Designed to give all Australians access to personalised, professional support, Daybreak Health Coaches is the first dedicated chat-based service for Australians who want to change their relationship with alcohol.

The service sees professional Health Coaches partner with Daybreak members to help them set and reach goals for satisfying and healthy lives. They support members by connecting them with internal motivators, identifying barriers to progress, holding them accountable and assisting in the growth process of making changes to their lives. All Health Coaches are mental health professionals with backgrounds in health, mental health, counselling and psychology.
 
The Health Coaches service is part of Hello Sunday Morning's Daybreak app, built off the culmination of six years of data and research from Hello Sunday Morning, combined with the best available evidence for alcohol behaviour change in scientific literature. Daybreak combines elements of assessment and brief intervention, motivational interviewing, activities based in cognitive-behavioural therapy, peer support, and now health coaching. 

The impact 

The goal is to achieve a 35-50% reduction in harmful alcohol consumption among members.

The need for such a service is significant. Claims data from nib health funds shows that the number of claims paid for alcohol related disorders increased by 18 per cent in 2015 compared to the previous year. Based on pilot data, Hello Sunday Morning is expecting the service to receive 117 daily requests for support by December 2017. At 42,700 sessions per year, this is five times greater than what alternative general chat services for alcohol and other drugs provide.
 
Daybreak is a tailored program, rather than a one size fits all approach to alcohol behaviour change. This increases personal relevance with the intervention, leading to better outcomes in persuasion and behavioural change. The program does not require abstinence to participate, but is built on a model of personal choice. While some members may want to cut alcohol out of their life, for most they want to achieve a healthier relationship with alcohol and make better drinking choices.

“I love the concept that you can change your attitude towards drinking; that you don’t necessarily have to cut it out of your life completely, but that you try something different. For example instead of going out every week and get drunk and wild, you might try sticking to a small number of drinks, and make sure you never get as far as drunk. Then you get to be social AND have entire weekends without feeling like death. I think HSM is a fantastic concept, and I have completely changed my attitudes towards drinking. I actually can’t believe it because I like being social and thought that have would have to change”.

Rachel, 24-year-old HSM member