The federal government has launched Australia's first national e-mental health online resource in a bid to provide reliable information, support and access to therapy for people seeking help for mental health disorders.
The mindhealthconnect website went live yesterday (July 5) and marks an important milestone in the delivery of the Gillard government's new e-Mental Health Strategy.
Federal minister for mental health Mark Butler explained that while one in five Australians will experience mental illness every year, less than half will seek treatment.
"This portal will allow people to access information and treatment as an alternative to traditional face-to-face services, in their own time, in an environment in which they’re comfortable," he said.
“Mindhealthconnect provides Australians with a pathway to trusted online therapy services and crisis support services as well as information on high prevalence conditions such as depression and anxiety."
Most private health insurance policies also offer a range of support to those looking to speak to health specialists such as rebates on psychological services, while a Medicare rebate of up to $120 is also available if a Mental Health Treatment Plan is obtained from a GP.
According to Mr Butler, further services and information to be implemented later in the year include an online virtual clinic and information on alcohol and other drugs, eating disorders and other severe mental illnesses.