Webinar 31 - Evaluating the Quality of Digital Mental Health Resources
Digital mental health (dMH) (or e-mental health) resources can assist Australians to access mental health information and support at any time, from any place. They have the potential to underpin the provision of mental health services in countries such as Australia, with geographically diverse and isolated populations. In addition, the ability for dMH support and treatment to be accessed anonymously makes it an option for those who are unable or reluctant to access traditional face-to-face services, whether that be due to availability of services, stigma or cost.
A growing number of health professionals can, and do, use dMH programs and resources to support and aid the delivery of mental health and wellbeing services to their patients and clients. Despite this, uptake in routine practice has been slow, with clinicians reporting concerns about safety and quality of resources. This has been identified as one of the key barriers to uptake, which given the potential of evidence-based dMH in reaching a currently under-served population needs to be addressed.
This webinar aims to address this issue by presenting a discussion of the key issues in safety and quality assurance in dMH and the way in which this is being addressed in Australia. It will present background information on the certification framework for digital mental health services currently under development by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare and discuss the selection processes being used to assess tools for listing on both the e Mental Health in Practice (eMHPrac) site and the Australian Government funded digital gateway, Head to Health. It will also introduce a brief, easy to use tool, that can be used by health professionals to evaluate the quality of the dMH resources they are considering using in their work.
The webinar series examines some of the online mental health treatment programs that GPs need to know about, focusing on evidence-based programs that have been developed in Australia. The evidence around the efficacy and usefulness of different programs will be discussed along with practical aspects of using the programs.
- e-Mental Health programs are a useful adjunct to mental health treatment in primary care
- there is good evidence that patient outcomes improve with the use of e-Mental Health programs
- a variety of locally-developed e-Mental Health programs are available
- GPs need to be familiar with the programs their patients are using and be able to recommend the use of these programs appropriately.
GPs and GP registrars, psychologists and allied mental health practitioners, in fact any health professional with an interest in improving outcomes for patients with mental health conditions.