News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Digital award for adolescent depression therapy

Media Release - University of Auckland - 14th February 2013

International digital award for adolescent depression therapy

SPARX, an e-therapy for adolescent depression, has won an international digital award from UNESCO’s Netexplo, a ‘global observatory on digital society’.

The prestigious Netexplo Awards will be made to 10 recipient projects in Paris on Friday during the Netexplo Forum, attended by 1300 people from 30 countries.

The awards will be presented for projects that Netexplo call “the ten most innovative and promising digital initiatives of the year”.

SPARX is a role-playing computer programme in a game format that helps adolescents recognise and manage their depression. The University of Auckland e-therapy research team worked with game development company Metia Interactive to create SPARX. A large clinical trial has shown that the approach is as effective as usual face to face treatment.

SPARX’s developers from The University of Auckland, led by Associate Professor Sally Merry (Head of Department for Psychological Medicine) together with SPARX study manager and Research Fellow, Dr Karolina Stasiak, will be in Paris for the Netexplo (UNESCO) awards this week.

“The initiatives recognised by Netexplo are extremely diverse as they concern society as a whole - a new digital civilisation,” says Netexplo’s expert committee chairman, Joel de Rosnay.

SPARX is the only award winner from Australasia (the others are from Belgium, China, America, the United Kingdom, Israel, South Africa and France), and was selected from 100 nominees worldwide. The final choice of the 10 Netexplo award winners for 2013 was determined by an international expert panel in December.

“The award is a great honour and adds further to the accolades for SPARX,” says Dr Mathijs Lucassen on behalf of Associate Professor Merry. “In 2012 SPARX was a World Summit Award winner under the auspices of the United Nations and the results of the SPARX randomised controlled trial were published in the British Medical Journal last year.”

Organised in partnership with UNESCO, the mission of the Netexplo Forum is to “give an audience of political, business and media executives’ insight into the most significant new uses of digital tech”.

The link for a video clip on the SPARX award, created by Netexplo is at:

More information about the awards is also available at:


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


13/10: 40 Years Since The Māori Land March Arrived At Parliament

Traffic into Wellington came to a standstill as thousands of Māori and Pākehā streamed along the motorway into the capital on 13 October 1975, concluding the Māori land march to parliament. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news