The 2018 International Mental Health Conference is almost upon us again, this year the conference will be held over the 8th – 10th August at the RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast, Queensland.
This annual conference is now in its 19th year and continues to be the pinnacle event in the mental health industry. The Conference provides an invaluable opportunity to build relationships and to share knowledge, research and latest policies.
Ms Carol Purtell, Clinic Director at Mindspot joins us at the conference to discuss ‘MindSpot Clinic: Helping Australians Access Care for Anxiety & Depression’.
Anxiety and depressive disorders are highly prevalent, often chronic and frequently co-occur. Fewer than 50% of people experiencing these conditions seek treatment in a 12-month period (Whiteford et al., 2014). Barriers to treatment include the limited number of mental health professionals, the direct and indirect costs of treatment, low mental health literacy, and stigma (Titov, 2011). Attempts at reducing these barriers and increasing access for patients include providing treatment virtually, that is, online and via telephone. MindSpot is a free online and telephone mental health service, which is funded by the Federal Department of Health as part of the Australian Governments e-Mental Health Strategy.
This presentation will provide a brief overview of MindSpot’s services, which include free information, assessment and therapist-assisted treatment courses. Data from 89,000 adults will be presented, including why people are using the service, satisfaction levels and clinical outcomes. Composite case studies, typical of the patients we have treated, will also be discussed. This discussion will highlight the real-world challenges patients experience in accessing services, including stigma, distance from health services and lack of local mental health professionals.
MindSpot has provided services to more than 89,000 Australians. Of those accessing online treatment, more than 70% complete the courses, and overall, symptoms reduce on average by 50%, with improvements sustained at follow-up. These improvements are seen across people with a broad range of characteristics including younger and older adults, rural and metropolitan consumers, and those with mild to severe symptoms. More than 95% of consumers report they would recommend the service to a friend.
The MindSpot Clinic is an innovative virtual clinic which is successfully using technology to provide accessible, clinically effective assessment and treatment services which are acceptable to patients. However, MindSpot is not a panacea, and is not suitable for all consumers.
Carol Purtell is a Senior Executive, mental health specialist and Registered Nurse with a Masters of Social Science (Counselling) with over 30 years of mental health and leadership experience in Australia and abroad. Carol is the Clinic Director of the MindSpot Clinic a free nationwide telephone and online treatment service for Australian adults experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD and OCD. Carol and the Team at the MindSpot Clinic are committed to increasing access to mental health services for Australians through providing high-quality, innovative and evidence-based assessment and treatment services.
For further information on the upcoming 19th International Mental Health Conference and to secure your spot please visit anzmh.asn.au/conference