Sunday, January 25, 2015
Good To See More Positive Evidence and Publicity On E-Mental Health.
This appeared a few days ago:
By Lexi Metherell
January 21, 2015, 4:00 pm
Mental health advocates are urging the Federal Government to make better use of technology-based mental health services, saying they are cheap, effective, but vastly underused.
The Federal Government is considering reforms to the sector and is soon expected to deliver its response to the National Mental Health Commission's review of programs and services.
Mental health professionals have called for e-mental health services to be made a core part of the system.
The Black Dog Institute estimates that while e-mental health services could benefit 600,000 Australians, just 30,000 use them.
E-mental health programs include services delivered through digital mechanisms - such as phones and computers - which allow users to prevent, treat and recover from mental illness.
It is estimated 300,000 people a month use the website Reach Out, which provides advice on mental illness at a cost of just $2 per user.
Professor Helen Christensen from the Black Dog Institute - a pioneer in the field - said e-health services cost a fraction of traditional mental health therapies, and could be used at any stage of mental illness.
"To give you an example, people who have a small number of symptoms, who would never meet diagnostic criteria, could easily benefit from some of the automated e-health psychological techniques that are available," Professor Christensen said.
"Somebody with psychosis, whilst not being cured of all of their psychosis, by an e-mental health intervention, can learn to manage their condition better."
Professor Christensen said while Australia had been a leader in developing e-mental health services, it had failed to commercialise them and embed them in the health system.
"I think policymakers recognise that they should be integrated with face-to-face services - it's just how you get there," she said.
"I think the sector, which consists of most of the organisations who provide this, would like to see leadership on how we can all work together.
"We have lots of ideas about to do that, but at the moment Australia is a country where a lot of innovation stops once you've actually had the initial proof of concept.
"We don't actually go the next step and we'd really like to see that happen now for e-mental health services."
There is also an interview on ABC AM here on the topic:
Lexi Metherell reported this story on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 08:13:33
There is little to add to this. The important thing here is that all those who might be helped by such technology get to know about it so they can be helped!
An unambiguous piece of good news going into Australia Day - have a good one!
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Sunday, January 25, 2015