• e-MH programs for depression

    There are two main types of online treatment programs for depression: self-help and therapist assisted.

    Self-help treatment programs

    What are these programs?
    Self-help computerised treatment programs typically draw on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) as well as other evidence-based therapies. There is increasing evidence that these programs can be cost effective and have efficacy.

    What is the evidence?
    A recent systematic review and meta-analysis of computerised cognitive behaviour therapy concluded that it may be an effective low intensity psychological intervention for common mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression (Grist & Kavanagh, 2013).

    Specific Programs:
    e-couch - evidence based information and self-help strategies drawn from CBT and IPT with modules for depression.

    myCompass - aims to improve resilience and wellbeing for people with depression. Includes internet and mobile phone-based mood tracking, motivational messages and self-help modules.

    OnTrack - provides programs for depression and alcohol/depression together.

    MoodGYM - teaches skills from CBT to help prevent and manage symptoms of depression. Originally designed for young people, but is used by older age groups as well.

    Centre for Clinical Interventions - provides free workbooks and information for depression.

    Therapist assisted online treatment programs

    How does it work?
    Therapist-supported online programs typically draw on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and other evidence-based therapies. Users work through psycho-educational material and exercises in the online program and receive support from human therapists, through text-based communication such as email or via telephone.

    What is the evidence?
    Therapist supported programs are accumulating a strong evidence base. One recent meta-analysis concluded that internet-based CBT treatments for depression were "well-established," and there was enough evidence to consider internet-based CBT an empirically supported therapy according to criteria set down by the American Psychological Association (Hedman et al 2012).

    Specific programs:
    The MindSpot Clinic is the Australian Government’s free clinic. It has in-house therapists who provide assessment, referral and support as people work through Mindspot courses. Courses include Wellbeing for 18+,18-25 years, 60+, and Indigenous. Self-referral or email/online clinician referral.

    eCentreClinic evaluates courses for adults and older adults. Self-guided and therapist-supported courses are available.

    THIS WAY UP therapist-assisted and self-help courses for depression and mixed depression/anxiety. Clinician referral is required and there is a small cost to patients.

    Want more info?

    - Check out our printable resources here.

    - Watch our free recorded webinars, then download documentation for your CPD.

    - Watch our free short CPD videos here, then download documentation for your CPD.

    - Search on the Australian Government's MindHealthConnect portal or the Beacon site.

    - Share your experiences in the members' section of eMHPrac Exchange.Just register here.

    Grist, R & Cavanagh K. 2013. Computerised cognitive behavioural therapy for common mental health disorders, what works, for whom under what circumstances? A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Contemp Psychother, 43: 243-251.

    Hedman E, Ljotsson B, Lindefors N. 2012. Cognitive behavior therapy via the Internet: a systematic review of applications, clinical efficacy and cost–effectiveness. Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res,12: 745–64. www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1586/erp.12.67

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