Giving firefighters the tools they need to feel in control after a challenging or distressing event.

The University of Melbourne: Phoenix Australia / Solar-FRNSW app

Phoenix Australia engaged Spark Digital to co-design an independent mental health mobile app, with monitoring and an integrated stepped care approach to early intervention and treatment.



Recognised as the Australian National Centre for Excellence in Post-traumatic Mental Health, Phoenix Australia identified a critical need for a specialised tool to support the mental health of firefighters. With funding secured for this initiative, the goal was to develop a mobile app based on the Skills fOr Life Adjustment and Resilience (SOLAR) program.

This program is tailored for survivors of disasters or traumatic events who are grappling with distress or adjustment challenges. The app’s development leveraged the expertise of practitioners in trauma and disaster mental health, focusing on providing firefighters with a resource to effectively manage stress and gain control after distressing events.



Spark Digital delivered an app that offered modules for stress management and physical health improvement, specifically tailored for firefighters post-trauma. A key aspect of the project is its innovative trial design: a single download app with internal coding for randomising users to either the main or control version of the app, essential for conducting a double-blind randomised control trial. Integration with REDCap through unique participant codes enabled efficient data collection and progress tracking, crucial for evaluating the app’s impact and effectiveness in mental health support

Nick Davies Nick Davies

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