Finding human connection amidst the digital mental health revolution - an introduction to services

Finding human connection amidst the digital mental health revolution - an introduction to services

The rise of digital mental health services has revolutionized the delivery of mental health care, particularly benefiting people living in rural and remote areas of Australia.
-    Heidi Sturk, Director, e-Mental Health in Practice (eMHPrac)

Digital mental health services play a vital role in prevention, mental health literacy, stigma reduction, on-demand counselling, crisis support, peer support and psychological treatment, particularly in areas where traditional face-to-face services might be limited. Digital mental health encompasses apps, websites, digital tools, online programs, forums, phone, SMS, email, videochat and webchat services. These can complement standard face-to-face or telehealth therapies, enabling care providers to focus on complex cases, address waitlists, and integrate information, further supports and skills training into their sessions. 

At times, digital mental health may appear impersonal, but it doesn’t have to be. Many of the services listed emphasize a strong human connection, particularly services that directly promote help-seeking and connection to a counsellor or peer support worker. Some online programs also offer guidance by a practitioner. Outlined below is an introduction to a selection of free, evidence-based, digital programs enhancing human connection. 

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Online Treatment Programs

Online treatment programs offer consumers session-based treatment options for them to work through at their own pace. Select treatment programs offer contact with a therapist or own therapist integration features.

Online Treatment Program - MindSpot-1

MindSpot Clinic

The MindSpot Clinic is a free service for Australian adults with stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, chronic pain, or chronic health conditions. MindSpot provides screening assessments and treatment courses, which equip individuals with treatment strategies and techniques. Consumers can choose to speak to a MindSpot therapist each week to assist in guiding them through the course.


Online Treatment Program - This Way Up-1

This Way Up

This Way Up provides online treatment to help Australian teens and adults manage anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic conditions and more. They offer a range of low cost online CBT programs for a range of mental health and wellbeing issues. Programs are free with a “prescription” from a clinician.



Online Treatment Program - Mental Health Online

Mental Health Online

Mental Health Online offers free online programs for depression, generalised anxiety, social anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, and PTSD. They also offer a ‘Made 4 Me’ tailored program, specific to the user’s needs. The website includes a self-assessment tool and online self-help or therapist support programs.


Online Treatment Program - MOST


MOST provides on-demand access to tailored therapy, tools and programs to manage and improve mental health for young people aged 12 to 25. It provides a safe, moderated online community offering access to self-directed therapeutic content, helpful tailored information and practical tools.


Online Treatment Program - MumSpace


MumSpace is a one-stop website to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of expectant women, new mums, and their families. MumSpace provides free information, strategies, tips, resources, and advice specifically for mums, including online treatment for perinatal depression and anxiety.


Online Treatment Program - DadSpace


DadSpace is a free information website to support the mental and emotional wellbeing of dads who are expecting or have just welcomed a baby into their life. DadSpace, provides information, strategies, and advice, including an online treatment program for anxiety and depression.


Online Treatment Program - Counselling Online

Counselling Online

Free and confidential service providing 24/7 support for Australians affected by alcohol or drug use, their friends and family. They provide online and email counselling, online self-help modules, moderated peer-support forums and information on drug and alcohol use.



Online Treatment Program - Gambling Help Online

Gambling Help Online

Gambling Help Online provides 24/7 chat and email counselling and support services, self-guided treatment modules, and weblinks for additional support.


Peer Support Services

Peer support services allow consumers to obtain support from people who have “been there” themselves and can allow a space to trouble-shoot challenges and learn from others. Peer support can be offered in individual or group formats.

Peer Support Service - SANE

SANE Australia

SANE Australia provides straightforward information, moderated forums, and a support line providing peer-to-peer support for anyone experiencing or caring for someone with a severe and complex mental illness. SANE also offers a range of peer support options and packages.



Peer Support Service - ReachOut


ReachOut is an up-to-date information resource on a range of mental health and wellbeing topics for young people, their parents, carers and teachers. Their website also includes professionally moderated anonymous discussion forums, tools and articles.



Peer Support Service - DayBreak


Daybreak is an app developed to help people wanting to change their relationship with alcohol with professional and community support. Their aim is to support any individuals to change their relationship with alcohol, whether it is taking a break or simply cutting back.


Peer Support Service - Butterfly Foundation

Butterfly Foundation

The Butterfly Foundation offers free, accessible support for anyone needing guidance with an eating disorder including counselling, referral, support, psycho-education and guidance via telephone, web chat, online support groups and email.


Peer Support Service - Headspace


Headspace offers a confidential and secure space where young people can web chat, email or speak on the phone with a qualified youth mental health professional. By registering for an account young people can access 1-on-1 clinician support, online community chats, interactive tools and self-help information.


Peer Support Service - QLife

Gambling Help Online

1800 184 527 (7 days 3pm to 12am)

QLife is a phone and online counselling and referral service for people of diverse sex, genders and sexualities. QLife provide anonymous peer support and referral for LGBTQIA+ people wanting to talk about issues relating to sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships. 



Crisis Services

Crisis services aim to facilitate help-seeking during times of significant distress and often provide short-term counselling and referral where appropriate.  

Crisis Service - 13YARN


13 92 76 (24/7)

13YARN is Australia’s first Indigenous-led crisis helpline providing 24/7 free, culturally safe, and dedicated phone support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people going through a tough time or in crisis.



Crisis Service - Beyond Blue Support Service

Beyond Blue Support Service

1300 22 4636 (24/7)

Beyond Blue aims to equip everyone in Australia with the knowledge and skills to protect their own mental health. Their support service provides telephone, online chat, and email support for those experiencing depression or anxiety, or going through a difficult time.



Crisis Service - 1800RESPECT


1800 737 732 (24/7)

1800RESPECT is a free national telephone and online service providing counselling, information, guidance, and support for people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing sexual assault, domestic violence or family violence.


Crisis Service - Kids Helpline

Kids Helpline

1800 55 1800 (24/7)

Phone, online chat and email counselling for young people aged 5 to 25 years. Peer support forums and information site to support young people and their parents with a range of issues.


Crisis Service - Lifeline


13 11 14

24/7 crisis phone, webchat and SMS support with links to information and further support options.


Crisis Service - Suicide Call Back Service

Suicide Call Back Service

1300 659 467

24/7 phone and online counselling service for anyone affected by suicide, including those worried about someone else.


Counselling Services

Counselling services allow consumers to work through a particular issue or problem, obtain a sense of validation and a referral to further support if required. 

Counselling Service - PANDA


1300 726 306 (Monday to Saturday)

PANDA offers a national perinatal mental health telephone counselling service. PANDA’s telephone information, counselling, and referral service is staffed by trained volunteers, professional counsellors, and supervising staff.


Counselling Service - Mensline


1300 78 99 78 (24/7)

Free 24/7 phone and webchat counselling for men with relationship difficulties or mental health problems. Video chat available by appointment.



Counselling Service - Yarning SafeNStrong

Yarning SafeNStrong

1800 959 563 (24/7)

A free and confidential counselling service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Culturally sensitive counsellors who offer support with social and emotional wellbeing, financial wellbeing, drug and alcohol counselling and rehabilitation services.



This list of services is for information purposes only - a clinician should thoroughly evaluate a service before recommending it to a client. This list is not exhaustive and represents a selection of resources that can be found on eMHPrac’s website. To find out more, please visit or for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing tools visit

eMHPrac provides education, training, and guidance to health practitioners and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers around digital mental health.

For consumers wanting digital mental health support, please visit the Head to Health portal

Article by:

Shelley Appleton, D.Psych(Clin), Clinical Psychologist, eMHPrac team
Dr Shelley Appleton is a Senior Research Officer with the eMHPrac team and a registered clinical psychologist and clinical supervisor. Shelley is passionate about facilitating access to mental health treatments and promoting mental health literacy in the general population. 

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