06:49pm Saturday 16 December 2017

Online therapy programs revolutionise access to mental health services

Currently, the eCentreClinic is looking for participants in its latest Wellbeing Course targeting depression and anxiety. Both conditions often occur simultaneously, so the aim is to provide guidance on simple but effective techniques to help people gain better control over their symptoms, improve their confidence and get back to living a full and satisfying life.

The programs, designed by psychologists from the University’s Centre for Emotional Health, particularly target people who would not normally seek help in managing anxiety, depression and other commonly experienced, yet potentially emotionally debilitating conditions.

Dr Nickolai Titov, Director of the eCentreClinic, notes that each year, more than three million Australians suffer anxiety and depression, yet less than 20 per cent see a mental health professional.

“We know that for many people, there are barriers to seeking and accessing treatment. Those barriers include fear of stigma, geographic difficulties, time constraints as well as the symptoms themselves which together conspire against seeking help and following through,” he said.

The eCentreClinic team believes that access to mental health services can be improved using tools like the internet. Their findings, on the success of internet-delivered disorder-specific therapy programs treating depression and anxiety, were recently published in the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy.

To date, more than 1600 people in more than 20 trials have obtained consistent results and by the end of the program, three out of four people report good progress at learning to manage their symptoms,Titov said.

All programs are free of charge and take 8-10 weeks to complete. Those accepted into a course are assigned a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist who monitors their progress. The Wellbeing Course is suitable for people aged 18 – 59 years who have symptoms of anxiety or depression. This includes people with symptoms of low mood, social anxiety, panic, fear of panic attacks and general worry.

To register interest in the program and find out more information, the eCentre website can be found at www.ecentreclinic.org.

Image: The eCentre Clinic team: Luke Johnston, Blake Dear, Bethany Wootton, Carolyn Lorian, Judy Zou, Jay Spence Nick Titov

 

Any enquiries from the media should be directed to:

Lyn Danninger

phone:(02) 9850 7257

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