Benefits of digital mental health services

Digital mental health refers to services delivered online, mobile or via the phone. These services include programs, apps, online support communities, web chat and email, and telephone crisis and counselling lines.

Digital mental health services are a great option for people searching for mental health support for themselves or for others. They are accessible at any time, can be used anonymously, are easy to use, and most are low-cost or free. These services can be used alone or in combination with face-to-face therapy. They can also be used in a variety of settings including home, the workplace, schools or through clinician workplaces.

Australia has been a pioneer in the development of Internet treatment programs for mental health conditions and there are some excellent programs available. Some programs are designed to be used independently, while a few offer practitioner guidance as you move through the program. Evidence shows that for many people, digital interventions can be as effective as face-to-face therapy. The skills learnt in these programs have also been shown to be effective in helping prevent mental health problems.

Increasing numbers of people are now using digital mental health services. Head to Health is an excellent first step to find a range of digital mental health services and resources delivered by trusted Australian providers. Head to Health is the result of an extensive co-design process between the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, people and families with a lived experience of mental health issues, as well as mental health organisations, service providers, health professionals and the Australian public.