Helping all Australians feel supported, find a path forward and access services that are right for them.

What is the project about?

Work is underway to build on the existing Head to Health website, transforming it over time into a comprehensive national mental health platform, helping more Australians access high quality, free and low cost digital mental health services and treatment.

What is happening?

Between July and October 2021, we started a conversation about accessing mental health services with Australians, including those with lived experience and their carers and the professionals that support them. We wanted to know where the Head to Health website could make the biggest difference to their experiences and outcomes.

Out of this came six focus areas we’re now investigating in more detail and co-designing what a better future model might look like, with an initial set of inputs due in the first half of 2022.

How you can get involved?

We would love to hear your thoughts on how we can make mental health support and services easier to access. We want to make sure that the website is inclusive, supportive and relevant to all Australians. We welcome and encourage the community and members of the public to provide inputs and ideas to help shape the future of Head to Health.

We will also be sharing the ideas that come out of the co-design process and asking for your thoughts on whether that would be an improvement to the current website. You can read more about who is co-designing the new approach below.

If you would like to participate, please subscribe for updates and we will send you the information and survey links as soon as they are published.

What we have heard so far

We have explored the state of the current mental health system, how people and health professionals access services and what people’s needs are when it comes to finding mental health supports.

 

We spoke to a wide range of users – people with lived experience of mental health issues, those who have not sought help or did not know where to start. We also spoke to psychiatrists, general practitioners, psychologists, and frontline health workers such as nurses and community workers who comprise key parts of the mental health ecosystem. Existing online mental health providers have also been engaged, such as those who run national helplines, online forums and offer mental health related apps and programs.

 

This helped us identify where Head to Health can make the biggest impact in the larger ecosystem.

 

Consumers, carers, and professionals are all looking for a more accessible, integrated, and tailored experience when seeking or providing mental health support.

 

We have an opportunity to create a more person-centred approach which:

 

  • Makes it easier for consumers and carers​ to recognise the signs, find clear pathways to help and access the right support throughout the mental health journey
  • Helps mental health professionals and frontline health workers to find trusted services and resources in one place
  • Helps build trust in digital mental health as part of a blended care treatment approach
  • Encourages use of digital health options including supported online services​
This was how people described the sort of experience they'd like to see in the future:

As an Australian experiencing mental health concerns or supporting someone who does, I know where and how to get the right information and support to help me.

  • I know where to start and how to address early symptoms.
  • I understand my/their choices, and how to access the service I/they need.
  • I feel informed and ready whatever choices I/they make and can proactively maintain good mental health

So I feel supported, clearer, more confident and it's easier to take action.

As a frontline professional dealing with people that are experiencing mental health concerns, the Head to Health platform provides me with a trustworthy source of information to help me identify the best pathway for my client. 

  • I understand the best options, and it's easy to refer them to the services they need.
  • I understand the benefits of a blended approach and can confidently recommend digital treatment options.

So I can feel informed and know that my client is supported. 

To work towards this, we have six focus areas

Based on what we learned we have identified six key focus areas that we believe can make the biggest difference:

  • A trusted starting point for people looking to improve their mental health. 

  • Help people take their first steps to good mental health by making them aware of what to look for and when to take action.

  • Help consumers and professionals to understand the services available that suit their needs and circumstances.

  • Encourage people to take action such as booking an appointment with a health professional without having to jump through hoops. 

  • Help people know what to expect from professional support and take care of their mental health on a regular basis. 

  • Support those affected by COVID-19 to find help for both their mental health and other flow on life changes and impacts. 

Project contact

If you have comments, questions or feedback about this project, you can get in touch with the Head to Health team at HeadtoHealth@health.gov.au

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Page last updated 17th December 2021