MoodGYM is a popular and extensively researched interactive program with over 800,000 registrants, developed and designed by staff at the National Institute for Mental Health Research (NIMHR).
MoodGYM has a manual available for therapists who would like to use the program in their work. Users complete symptom quizzes at the end of each module which can be printed out to discuss with therapists.
MoodGYM was originally designed to prevent depression in young people, but research has shown that it can also be helpful for people of different age groups and can help people tackle their symptoms. Research has also shown that it can help reduce anxiety symptoms and build resilience.
MoodGYM is highly structured and integrates mental health literacy, assessments, self-help strategies, and exercises.
Who is MoodGYM for?
MoodGYM was originally designed for young people between 15 to 25 years of age, however, the MoodGYM program has been found to be effective in reducing symptoms of depression in older age groups. MoodGYM is described as being suitable for users 16 years and older. MoodGYM is also available in German at moodgym.de.
What services does MoodGYM offer?
MoodGYM is an interactive program that intends to help it’s users to manage symptoms of depression and anxiety. It teaches strategies drawn from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (also known as CBT). It has 5 modules that each take about 30 minutes to complete. The 5 modules are as follows:
Module 1 – Feelings
Module 2 – Thoughts
Module 3 – Unwarping
Module 4 – Destressing
Module 5 – Relationships
Is there a cost to use MoodGYM?
No. MoodGYM is delivered free of charge to all Australians thanks to funding supplied by the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health.
When can MoodGYM be accessed?
MoodGYM can be accessed at any time through their website here. The modules are self-directed and can be worked through at your own pace.
How to access MoodGYM’s services
Users registering for MoodGYM need to provide a username, email address, age category, gender, country, rural/remote, education, history of depression, and referral status (e.g. by a psychologist, GP etc.).
MoodGYM Research and Evaluation
MoodGYM has been shown to be effective in reducing depressive and anxiety symptoms in users in a large number of published research trials undertaken by research groups within and outside of Australia. These include studies: in a range of settings (e.g., schools, universities, Lifeline, NHS Choices online); across the mental health care spectrum (from prevention to treatment); with different age groups (adults, adolescents); with a range of population groups (e.g. students, primary care patients, community users); in different countries; and with and without guidance.
Studies have also reported MoodGYM to be effective in reducing hazardous alcohol use, and in improving wellbeing and quality of life in users. User satisfaction of MoodGYM is high, and evaluation studies suggest that MoodGYM is a viable option for those who cannot access face-to-face therapy, and for those waiting for traditional services. There is also demonstrated cost effectiveness of translating MoodGYM, which currently operates in two languages.
For a list of publications, visit the MoodGYM website.
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- Donker, T., Bennett, K., Bennett, A., Mackinnon, A., van Straten, A., Cuijpers, P., . . . Griffiths, K. M. (2013). Internet-delivered interpersonal psychotherapy versus internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy for adults with depressive symptoms: randomized controlled noninferiority trial. J Med Internet Res, 15(5), e82. doi: 10.2196/jmir.2307
- Dorow, M., Stein, J., Forster, F., Lobner, M., Franz, M., Gunther, R., . . . Riedel-Heller, S. G. (2018). [Implementation of the Internet-Based Self-Management Program “moodgym” in Patients with Depressive Disorders in Inpatient Clinical Settings – Patient and Expert Perspectives]. Psychiatr Prax, 45(5), 256-262. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-117049
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- Topolovec-Vranic, J., Cullen, N., Michalak, A., Ouchterlony, D., Bhalerao, S., Masanic, C., & Cusimano, M. D. (2010). Evaluation of an online cognitive behavioural therapy program by patients with traumatic brain injury and depression. Brain Inj, 24(5), 762-772. doi: 10.3109/02699051003709599
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