It can be difficult to know where to start when searching for quality digital mental health resources for your clients with so many online programs available. It can be time consuming and challenging for health professionals to search for a suitable service and evaluate whether it is evidence-based and safe for their client.
Fortunately, there are several online guides that list available digital mental health services from trusted Australian service providers, as well as documents developed by the Commonwealth Government to help clinicians with their own evaluation of digital mental health interventions.
Services Listing Digital Mental Health Tools
These websites serve as online guides for health professionals seeking trusted, safe, evidence-based digital interventions. The services review and evaluate program evidence, safety, and quality of all listings. Each service has their own review process which can be useful to understand.
Head to Health
Head to Health is the Australian Government’s digital mental health gateway, linking practitioners to over 700 free or low-cost, Australian, publicly funded, evidence-based digital mental health resources from trusted service providers.
- A search function, allowing visitors to search for suitable resources using keywords relating to feelings, topics, conditions, service providers, and more. They also provide multiple quick search terms for easy access.
- Sam, the virtual assistant, provides information and guidance to available services, guiding users through multiple questions to determine which services are most suitable for their needs.
- Health Professionals section including videos, webinars and other reference materials to support health professionals in using Head to Health and the available resources with
- Save to favourites function, allowing visitors to explore resources and save those they are interested in for later.
eMHPrac (eMental Health in Practice) lists Australian online programs, apps, and phone services that are evidence-based or Government funded, nationally available, free or low-cost.
- Directory of resources providing a searchable list of various Australian online and teleweb programs, which can be filtered by delivery mode, mental health condition, target group and crisis.
- Library of mental health educational resources to assist health practitioners to learn about, navigate and use digital mental health programs and tools with their clients. The library includes guides, brochures, factsheets, webinars, videos and more.
- Links to safety standards, evidence, and training in digital mental health to support health practitioners in integrating digital mental health into routine practice.
- Culturally safe language
- Resources organised by Mind, Body, Our Mob, Culture, Keeping Safe, and Healing to guide visitors in finding suitable services.
- Search function, allowing users to search for suitable resources by keywords relating to topic, situation, concern, and more.
- Training resources to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community workers look after their own wellbeing and support non-indigenous workers who want to learn more about culturally secure practices.
ReachOut – Tools and apps
ReachOut is a national online mental health service provider for young people, schools and their parents. Their website outlines a variety of tools and apps that are free and low-cost, including reviews from mental health professionals and users.
- A quiz to allow consumers and professionals to identify goals and find suitable tools and apps.
- Next Step referral guide for consumers aged 18 to 25 years, linking them to personalised support options.
- Health Professional and user ratings for all apps and programs, providing insight into users and practitioners’ experiences with the resource.
- Screenshots of listed apps providing insight into what is included without the need to download and explore the app themselves.
- Links to developer information so clinicians can further evaluate resources they are interested in utilising with clients.
Digital Health Guide
The Digital Health Guide provides quality information about mobile health apps, including; what capabilities they have, what conditions they are for, what evidence exists, and reviews and ratings from health providers, clients, and more. This service is a subscription-only resource for health professionals.
- Advanced search function, allowing users to search and quickly find suitable mobile health apps.
- The latest evidence available for mobile health apps from leading industry journals.
- Rating and reviews by other AHPRA registered health providers, patients, and the Digital Health Guide team.
- High-quality, detailed information on who created each solution, what it does, what condition it is for, and more.
The services above list Australian digital mental health tools, however there are also online guides listing overseas digital programs. MIND and OneMind PsyberGuide list Australian and overseas resources, providing insight into their features, security, data use, and more. It is important to consider, especially when exploring overseas resources, that the information is collected and stored by the program in a safe manner.
Evaluating Apps, Programs and Forums
There are several key documents that have been developed by the Commonwealth Government to assist clinicians in evaluating the safety and quality of digital mental health interventions. These documents guide clinicians and consumers in determining if a digital mental health resource is suitable, evidence-based, safe, and secure.
National Safety and Quality Digital Mental Health (NSQDMH) Standards
The NSQDMH Standards have been developed by the Australian Government and aim to improve the quality of digital mental health service providing, and to protect users and their supporters from harm. They feature standards and advice around clinical and technical governance standards, partnering with consumer standards, and model of care standards.
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care have published numerous tip sheets and checklists for clinicians and consumers on selecting safe and appropriate digital mental health resources. These include; Tips for choosing a digital mental health service – information for clinicians, Tips for choosing a digital mental health service – Information for consumers and carers, Checklist for choosing a digital mental health service – information for consumers and cares, and more.
These resources aim to help health professionals in finding and assessing the suitability of digital mental health interventions for their clients, however it is important that health professionals still undertake their own evaluation before recommending a resource to a client. Download our Finding Quality Digital Mental Health Tools factsheet for more information on where to search for digital mental health interventions and evaluating resources to use with clients.