Significant increase in digital mental health services during lockdown – NZHIT

The Kiwis are increasingly turning to online mental health services for help because of the uncertainty caused by the lockdown.

The unhappy girl is feeling sad after reading the bad news on the smartphone in bed.

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The new data shows that the update of digital mental health services increased significantly during the last year, and the demand is already growing again.

Royal Jensen, chief executive of New Zealand Health IT (NZHIT), said the study included two free online cognitive therapy (CBT) services, Just One Thought in New Zealand and this route in Australia. ۔

Most users took self-help courses for symptoms of anxiety and depression.

New Zealand’s data showed a 630% increase in website views and a 185% increase in course registration during last year’s lockdown.

Among healthcare workers, enrollment increased by 144% and scheduled courses for healthcare workers increased by 65%.

Jensen said the results highlight the benefits of digital mental health services, especially in times of growing anxiety.

“Once again with Level Four Lockdown, New Zealanders can expect the use of digital mental health services to continue to grow as people seek help to cope with this period of instability.”

Although there were tools available that people could access if they needed immediate help, such as the 1737 helpline, online therapy services enabled people to begin the journey of self-improvement immediately.

“You can answer some questions and start doing behavioral therapy and you can do short courses through one app.”

Jensen said digital mental health tools complemented the health system to the maximum and she wanted to see GPs recommend services as an early intervention tool for people who can help with their mental health. Need

“It’s about getting accessible tools there when you need them, as originally stated, there’s a three-month waiting list and I can’t take you for that at the moment.”

Mental health practitioner Anna Elders, who is the leader in just one thought tool, said there has been an increase in people seeking to find solutions to their mental health problems.

“Not only were people reaching out to the tools, but we were seeing a significant reduction in their level of discomfort.”

Since the lockdown was announced on Tuesday, the number of people accessing the Just A Thought website has already increased.

The service gave people access to structured, cognitive therapy courses with a focus on depression, general anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder.

It included lessons that focused on people’s own experiences, then used cognitive behavior therapy to develop skills to deal with their own challenges.

The elders said, “I think one of the things we as human beings struggle with the most is uncertainty and we have got a lot out of it at the moment.”

For those who are already struggling, lockdown can be isolated and can spread panic about their health, the health of those close to them and how long it can last.

Although it was not intended to replace face-to-face therapy with a physician, the elders said there was evidence that ECBT could be effective as a face-to-face treatment.

“The fact is that we need to reach out to as many people as possible, we need to expand services but we also need to provide services with multiple options, depending on the GP or anyone else. Can be accessed freely without. “

Online services offer flexibility for people who could not visit a physician during working hours or who had to wait for months.

A mixed anxiety and depression course was to begin with just one thought and planned to develop more courses for young people to deal with pain, insomnia, and mental health, as well as a TO from a Maori perspective. There was also a course.

Many other “really great tools” were available in New Zealand, including the online program Mellon, which gives people the power to regain their health, the Mentemia app, co-founded by Sir John Caravan, to help people improve their mental health. He said that small steps online tool helps people to manage stress, calm their minds and raise their mood, and Claire Head, a wellness assistant. Which focuses on mental health.

The elders hope to help the Ministry of Health develop an ecosystem of digital tools and services that work for those facing mental health problems and long-term physical conditions.

“We’re all working together and making sure we’re developing tools that address a large number of people or a number of challenges, and we’re particularly committed to New Zealand. Are creating something fresh and innovative for the culture of. “

He said New Zealand was only beginning to realize the potential of digital health services to increase access to mental health services.


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