Experts in the field of mental health are urging the Federal Government of Australia to invest more in e-mental health services.
The experts have insisted that the use of technology in supporting people with mental health is cheap and effective, ABC reports.
An innovative online service which began in Australia, Reach Out, is an online service which provides advice on issues such as mental illness, sexuality and bullying. It also provides monitored forums, and information on how to seek professional help.
It has an active social media presence and Reach Out has shown that its services are a powerful way of reaching out to people with mental health messages to people who have never really come across them before, or do not properly understand what anxiety or depression is.
It has proven easier for people to willingly engage via the conversational channels that Reach Out provides instead of having to access a serious mental health service.
Due to the reform that the Federal Government have planned to set for the mental health sector, mental health specialists are trying to persuade them to make e-health a core part of the system.
Reach Out’s Chief Executive, Jono Nicholas, has stated that 300,000 people access the site per month and it costs only $2 per user.
Nicholas further explained that in Australia, there has been growing evidence over 15 years showing how effective mental health services really are, from Reach Out and other online services also. This evidence has proven how safe and influential these services can be.
It was also noted that the aim of e-health is not to replace mental health professionals but provide an option for people to help themselves first and understand the issues that they are dealing with better. It could possibly even help people identify their own onset of mental illness at earlier stages. If they need greater help than what e-health can provide, the services of psychologists, social workers and so on are still available and useful.
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