An Australian mental health startup that has developed an algorithm to pair patients with a psychologist nationwide who best suits their needs is expanding its online therapy service and going old school with the addition of telephone sessions for those in remote regions with poor internet coverage.
Smartphones, tablets and computers are increasingly expanding the availability of health services. This means we can access help anonymously at a time and place that suits us.
Currently, only about one-third of people with mental health difficulties obtain help. While there are various reasons for this, practical factors such as availability of health professionals and travel, time and financial restrictions may limit access to mental health care.
People may also be reluctant to seek help, either because of concerns about the stigma attached to mental illness or because of a preference to self-manage symptoms.
While technology is not always a replacement for face-to-face treatment for mental health difficulties, it can offer increased choice and flexibility. It may also motivate some people to take that first step in seeking help.
Let’s explore the benefits and downsides of technology-delivered care – and where you can go for help.