Exploring Digital Mental Health 'A New Frontier for an Old Horizon'

Dr Angela White, Deputy Director, eMHPrac at the Queensland University of Technology joins us at the upcoming 8th Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium and will chair a panel on Exploring Digital Mental Health 'A New Frontier for an Old Horizon.

Dr Angela White Dr Angela White

Panel members are:

Dr Bonnie Clough, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute for Resilient Regions, University of Southern QLD

Prof David Kavanagh, Director, eMHPrac, QUT

Dr Sonja March, Research Program Director, The University of Southern QLD

Prof Nick Titov, Director, MindSpot Clinic

Ms Jenny Bird, Senior Research Fellow, Indigenous Stream, eMHPrac, University of Sydney

Miss Cherry Baylosis, Online Community Engagement Specialist, SANE Forums, SANE Australia

Panel Abstract:

Background: In response to the 2015 National Mental Health Commission report, the Commonwealth proposed a 'New Blueprint for Mental Health Services'.  Pivotal to the proposed stepped care model of service delivery, is the Digital Mental Health Gateway that will harness innovative e-mental health technologies to support people in accessing the most appropriate services for their individual needs. Alongside this development has been the exponential growth in digital mental health tools, programs and apps.

Aims/objectives: This panel discussion explores potential issues, challenges and opportunities raised by the Digital Mental Health Gateway and stepped care model of mental health service delivery. It canvasses possible challenges, solutions, opportunities and directions of e-mental health approaches, particularly for rural and remote communities.

Approach/method: The session will begin with a brief overview of the development of e-mental health in Australia. The chair will then present the panel members with a series of issues and questions concerning the development and roll out of the Digital Mental Health Gateway; the changing face of e-mental health programs and resources; the impact of digital mental health and stepped care on traditional face-to-face service models; and the efficacy and suitability of e-mental health approaches across the disorder and severity spectrum. Topics concerning consumer and practitioner uptake, acceptability, integration and resourcing will also be explored. Opportunities for audience participation in panel questions and discussions will be provided.

Implications/conclusion: Mental health services are being transformed by digital technologies, and whilst this offers exciting opportunities for increased reach and access, there is also considerable uncertainty. Detailed consideration of the issues and our response to them, will allow the community and health professionals to adapt and take full advantage of this new frontier in mental health and wellbeing.

The 2016 Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium will be held at Mantra on Salt Beach, Kingscliff, NSW from 3 – 4 November 2016. This year’s symposium again provides opportunities to learn, discuss, workshop and network with others who share a passion for rural and remote mental health.

For more information and to secure your spot at this important event please visit the symposium website.

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