About


What is it?

Smooth Sailing is a new web-based service for all high school students, designed to help them out when feeling down or worried – or even just to keep them on track when things are going well.


Who made it?

A bunch of brainy researchers at the Black Dog Institute in Sydney, NSW, worked hard to create Smooth Sailing. They talked to heaps of young people, as well as parents, teachers and doctors, to figure out the best way to design and build a new type of service that would reach out to young people and provide them with the support and information they need.

As Smooth Sailing is produced by the Black Dog Institute, we comply with the terms of use of the Institute. To read these, please visit here


Why should students use it?

Because we all go through tough times in life, but especially during high school. And it can be hard to know what to do when you’re really worried, down or stressed. By using Smooth Sailing, students will have a better idea of how to get through these tough times (and how to help their mates when they’re struggling).


What if I or my friend needs immediate help for mental health?

Smooth Sailing is not a crisis service, so it can’t provide emergency support. If you or a friend are faced with a crisis, we encourage you to tell a trusted adult such as parents or a teacher. You can also visit the Get Help Now section of the website which has a list of all youth-friendly services.


What’s the evidence?

In 2018, the Black Dog Institute conducted a large Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) involving over 1800 students from 22 NSW schools. Smooth Sailing was found to significantly improve young people’s intentions to seek help for mental health problems and reduce anxiety symptoms. Smooth Sailing also increased the capacity of School Counsellors to identify students in need of care and provide timely and adequate follow up. If you’d like to read more about the way the service was built or tested, here are the articles:



Have questions?

If you’re a parent or young person and would like to learn more about what’s involved with Smooth Sailing, how a student’s privacy is protected and what happens to their info, please read our Privacy Policy and the parents and students info sheet. If you’re a school counsellor or school staff member, and would like to offer Smooth Sailing in your school, click here to learn more.

If you have questions or concerns about any of this, feel free to email the team at: smoothsailing@blackdog.org.au