Online Therapies

Mind Health Connect is a bit like a Bunnings for your mind and wellbeing - they've got everything you need, and then some. Like the time I went in for a new drill and ended up going home with a plate compactor. There's so much useful stuff I thought I'd save you some rummaging time and pick out the most popular online programs. That should give you an extra half hour to watch the footy, wrestle a shark, or something equally manly. 

MindSpot

The MindSpot Clinic is a free online assessment and treatment service for Australian adults with anxiety or depression.

What is it?

The MindSpot Clinic provides online and telephone assessments, referrals, and treatments to help people recover from anxiety and depression.

What do I get out of it?

The MindSpot Clinic will help you learn skills to recover from anxiety and depression and then stay well.

Do I have to register?

Yes.

What information do they ask for?

Personal details, details about symptoms, and main problems, to help work out options that can help.

How much does it cost?

It is a free service.

Do I need a doctors referral?

No.

How long does it take to do the program?

An assessment takes about 20 minutes. You can then choose to do a 8-10 week treatment course, or be referred elsewhere.

How long until I start seeing results?

Most people report feeling better by the end of treatment. 95 per cent of people who participate in the courses report they would refer a friend, and most made good clinical improvements.



myCompass

myCompass is the Black Dog Institute’s new online and mobile phone self-help program. Available 24/7, myCompass provides people with real-time support in the real world.

What is it?

myCompass is a new online and mobile phone program for people with mild-to-moderate stress, anxiety and depression. It is your own self-help program available whenever you need it. Using myCompass, you can self-monitor the moods, feelings and behaviours that may be troubling you. You can then use the interactive self-help modules to learn the skills you need to manage your unique situation.

What do I get out of it?

Using myCompass regularly for eight weeks will help you to reduce stress, anxiety and depression symptoms and improve your overall wellbeing. The self-monitoring tool enables you to see patterns in your moods, feelings and behaviours and understand what might be triggering them. You will learn tried and tested strategies to better manage life’s ups and downs.

Do I have to register?

Yes. To register and set-up your myCompass account you need to provide a valid email address and an Australian mobile phone number. You will be asked to create a password so that no-one else can access your account details and ensure your information is kept private and secure.

What information do they ask for?

At registration you will be asked to provide personal information about your current levels of stress, anxiety and depression. The information you provide is used by myCompass to:
(a) determine whether the program is suitable for you
(b) suggest moods, feelings or behaviours that you may benefit from monitoring
(c) recommend learning modules that will be helpful for you to complete.

As you work through the myCompass Program, you can provide as much or as little information as you like.

How much does it cost?

myCompass is free to use. You may incur a small fee for data usage and internet access, depending on your mobile phone plan. SMS charges are not billed to you, the user.

Do I need a doctors referral?

No. Anyone with mild-to-moderate stress, anxiety and depression can use myCompass.

How long does it take to do the program?

To get the most from myCompass, it is best if you use the program regularly for 8 weeks. During this time, you should aim to monitor your moods, feelings and behaviour every day and complete at least two of the self-help modules.

How long until I start seeing results?

If you use myCompass as recommended, you should start to notice improvements in your stress, anxiety and depression after about four weeks, but you need to use it for at least eight weeks to get lasting benefits. The more you use myCompass, the better the results.

e-couch 

e-couch is a self-help interactive program with modules for depression, generalised anxiety and worry, social anxiety, relationship breakdown, and loss and grief. 

What is it? 

e-couch is an interactive web program that aims to help people cope with emotional problems and difficult times in their lives. e-couch has programs for generalised anxiety, social anxiety, depression, divorce and bereavement. It includes exercises to help you understand yourself and others. Even better, it provides you with a set of strategies that might help you to improve your life. Each program begins with the armchair section, which provides information about emotional problems - what causes them, how to prevent them and how to treat them.

After reading the information in the armchair, you can go to the toolkits for that problem and learn strategies to cope with difficult feelings and situations.

What do I get out of it?

Your e-couch program includes information, exercises and a workbook to track your progress and record your experiences, and toolkits to help you improve your mood and emotional state, and tackle challenges that you may be facing.

You can learn to manage and prevent emotional problems by changing your thinking, considering your relationships with others, scheduling regular exercise, and learning relaxation techniques.

Do I have to register?

You don’t have to register to see some of the e-couch information about anxiety and depression. You do need to register to see all of the information and to use the self-help toolkits. To protect your privacy, please use a made-up name and password when you register.

What information do they ask for?

When you register, e-couch will ask you for some information that doesn’t identify you. There are questions such as your age group, the country that you are in and whether you are in a city. It will also ask you for an email address. You can protect your privacy by setting up an email address that does not identify you e.g. abcd@yahoo.com.au. After you’ve registered, e-couch will offer you quizzes and exercises that ask for information about your thoughts and feelings. If you provide this information, you will get feedback. When you come back to e-couch, you will be able to see information about the quizzes and exercises you have done before. All information provided by e-couch users is kept confidential and your privacy is protected by law.

How much does it cost?

It costs nothing to use e-couch.

Do I need a doctors referral?

Anyone can sign up and use e-couch. You do not need a doctor’s referral.

How long does it take to do the program?

e-couch lets you do the program at a pace that suits you. The e-couch armchair information sections will take about 15 minutes to read through. For the self-help toolkits, e-couch lets you make your own program. You can choose which parts to do and what order to do them in. Some of the sections are longer than others, so the length of the program depends on how many sections you choose to do and how long each one is. As a guide, many people have done the e-couch Generalised Anxiety Disorder Program in about six visits, taking 20-40 minutes per visit. The program will remember your details from last time. You can come back whenever you like and do the program more than once if you want to.

How long until I start seeing results?

Some e-couch users say that it helps just to do the quizzes and find out information about emotional problems. e-couch recommends that you complete self-help toolkits to get the best benefits.

MoodGYM 

MoodGYM is an innovative, interactive web program designed to prevent depression. It consists of five modules, an interactive game, anxiety and depression assessments, downloadable relaxation audio, a workbook and feedback assessment.

What is it?

MoodGYM is a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) based program. It helps you identify and overcome problem emotions and develop good coping skills. Designed to prevent and treat depression in young people, it can also be helpful for anxiety and for people of different ages.

What do I get out of it?

You can:

  • find out if you are having problems like anxiety and depression
  • learn skills to help you prevent these problems
  • learn how to cope if you are having problems like anxiety and depression
  • do quizzes, exercises and relaxation.

Scientific trials of MoodGYM show that it can be effective in reducing depression and anxiety symptoms in research and in the real world. MoodGYM’s effects in reducing symptoms of depression have been shown to persist for up to 12 months after people have finished the program.

Do I have to register?

Yes, you need to register to get your MoodGYM account. To protect your privacy, please use a made-up name.

What information do they ask for?

When you register, MoodGYM will ask you for some information that doesn’t identify you. Questions include your age group, the country that you are in and whether you are in a city. It will also ask you for an email address. You can protect your privacy by setting up an an email address that does not identify you likeabcd@yahoo.com.au. There will be quizzes and exercises that you can fill out as you are doing the program. All information provided by MoodGYM users is kept confidential and your privacy is protected by law.

How much does it cost?

It costs nothing to use MoodGYM.

Do I need a doctors referral?

Anyone can sign up and use MoodGYM. You do not need a doctor’s referral.

How long does it take to do the program?

You complete MoodGYM at your own pace. It has five parts or modules and each one takes about 20-40 minutes to do. The program will remember your details from last time. You can come back whenever you like and do the program more than once if you want to.

How long until I start seeing results?

Some people find that even a few modules of MoodGYM are helpful. For best results, MoodGYM recommends completing the whole program.

THIS WAY UP

THIS WAY UP Self Help provides free information about the various anxiety and depressive disorders and brief courses that people can take to learn to overcome their disorders.

What is it?

THIS WAY UP Self Help Worry and Sadness Program is a free and anonymous online course to help affected by depression and/or anxiety. THIS WAY UP Self Help uses comic-based scenarios to illustrate lessons of cognitive behavioural therapy. It provides summaries and resources to reinforce each lesson’s learning objectives.

'Self help' means the courses are self guided, you are free to work at your own pace. You do not need to give any personal details. This program is free, anonymous and is a brief version of the proven guided help courses at THIS WAY UP Clinic.

What do I get out of it?

THIS WAY UP Self Help courses teach you strategies and techniques to break the cycle of anxiety and depression.

Do I have to register?

You will need to register and provide a username and email address, and you can use a pseudonym for the username if you prefer.

What information do they ask for?

You will need to provide a email address, choose a username, and complete questions about your symptoms to track your progress.

How much does it cost?

THIS WAY UP Self Help courses are free of charge.

Do I need a doctor's referral?

Anyone can sign up for a THIS WAY UP Self Help course.

How long does it take to do the program?

THIS WAY UP Self Help courses have four sessions, and it is recommended you do one session per week; however, you have up to 60 days to complete a course.

How long until I start seeing results?

You should begin to see results after practicing the skills for a couple of weeks.


Mental Health Online

Mental Health Online is an initiative of the National eTherapy Centre based at Swinburne University of Technology. It provides online information, assessment, referral and treatment for mental health problems.

The website includes high-quality information about mental health problems and their treatment and links to mental health services. A comprehensive online assessment (e-PASS) can be completed, which assessments for 21 mental health problems and provides a report of symptoms and treatment recommendations.

Publicly available treatment programs can be taken for treatment for panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. 

These programs are available in two versions:

  • self-help programs for adults with mild symptoms, offered free of charge
  • therapist-assisted programs for Australian adults with mild, moderate or severe symptoms, offered at a low cost.

Therapist assistance is in the form of weekly email communication. This form of treatment has been proven more effective than purely self-help programs.

Research shows that these programs are safe, convenient and effective. The treatment programs are also made available to health professionals. Additional treatment programs are available through participation in research trials, including those for obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, and insomnia.


OnTrack

OnTrack aims to support the Australian community to achieve mental and physical health and wellbeing by offering free access to online mental health programs, information, quizzes and advice.

OnTrack’s programs were written by clinical psychologists and are based on psychological techniques that have been shown in research to work. OnTrack offers programs for a range of mental and physical health concerns including depression, alcohol use, odd thoughts or sensations, type 2 diabetes, recovery from natural disasters and caring for someone with a mental illness. The programs are interactive and help people to learn skills to manage their own problems.

OnTrack’s quizzes can be done anonymously and give immediate feedback without having to register. They help people to check how they are going with their drinking, mood, thoughts and relationships.

The OnTrack programs are not meant to replace other treatment, and many people will also need help from a therapist or doctor. We suggest that people discuss their use of OnTrack programs with their health practitioner. OnTrack also offers registration to health practitioners so they can view the programs or use them in their work.

There are five On Track programs:

  • On Track Depression
  • On Track Alcohol
  • On Track Get Real
  • On Track Alcohol and Depression
  • On Track Floods and Storm Recovery