John Mendoza, Adjunct Professor of Health Science, University of the Sunshine Coast, wants more support for web-based mental health programs:

“Gavin Andrews (see previous posts) is absolutely right in his assertion that the web offers great potential for the effective treatment of some mental health problems in our community.

Australian researchers like Andrews and others including Helen Christensen and Kathy Griffiths at the ANU’s Centre for Mental Health Research have pioneered the development of clincially effective web-based services and treatments.

Despite that, Australian Governments have not promoted or funded access to such services.

Access to any mental health service is a problem across Australia – not just in rural and remote areas. High out-of-pocket expenses, a serious maldistribution of mental health professionals and continuing stigma all contribute to poor access.

Given the high prevalence of mental health problems and the resultant levels of disease and disability, the efficacy of web-based services and the poor rates of treatment (only some 35% of Australians with a mental health problem seek professional help for it in any 12 month period), this must change.”

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