Matching the intensity of care to the severity of the illness

Dr Sharon Woolf


 This article refers to people with mild to moderate mental health issues.
It refers to online resources, websites, smartphone apps and online treatment programs.

Australia is the world leader in the provision of online treatment for mental health. In 2001, the Australian National University (ANU) developed “MoodGYM” which is now recognised throughout the world. Many studies have proven that online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (or CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (or ACT) are just as helpful as face to face therapy in managing and treating mild to moderate anxiety and depression.

Who could benefit? 

  • People with mild to moderate mental health symptoms
  • People who consider that they are not ‘unwell’ enough for face to face treatment
  • People who struggle with time or financial resources to attend face to face treatment
  • People who utilise online services in addition to their face to face treatment
  • Those who wish to develop resilience to mental health problems

What is available?

Warning – there are literally hundreds of websites and apps available – but most are not evidence
based and have the potential for harm.

The following is not a comprehensive list, however all the following recommendations are evidence based and recommended by the Black Dog Institute.

 1. Recommended Websites

The Black Dog Institute
www.blackdogintstitute.org.au

 Beyond Blue
www.beyondblue.org.au

 Bite Back – Special support for youth/adolescents
under the Black Dog Institute
www.biteback.org.au

2. Recommended Smartphone apps

Smiling Mind App
Suitable for all ages, encouraging meditation and mindfulness to help bring balance into people’s lives.

Mind the Bump
An app for pregnant women and parents in the early stages of parenthood, developed under Beyond Blue.

Reach Out
Designed to help young people through tough times with coping strategies and discussion forums.

Music Escape
Enables people to sort music according to their mood, to assist with mood balance.

 3. Recommended online treatment programs

Self Help

  • Mental Health Online
  • My Compass
  • MoodGYM
  • This Way Up

Guided – by a psychologist based at various universities

  • This Way Up – clinic – clinician assisted treatment program for anxiety and depression.
    This clinic requires a referral (via St Vincent’s Hospital) and costs $55 for 90 days.
  • Mental Health Online – run via Swinburne University with no referral required.
  • Mindspot Virtual Clinic – A free online or telephone psychology screening assessment.
    The psychologist will contact the person at registration and after completion of each 8-week module. They will also contact the person’s regular General Practitioner if desired. This program is run by Beyond Blue and Macquarie University.

One of the most important contributors to your mental health is your GP and we would like to have regular reviews whilst you take any of the e-Mental Health options.

** Based on research by Dr Jan Orman from the Black Dog Institute.

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