The festive season can be a difficult time for individuals, families and health professionals. Financial concerns, increased stress and parenting demands, family and relationship conflict, loneliness and increased consumption of alcohol might impact on mental health outcomes can impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing. It can also be a difficult time for health professionals who might be managing their own mental health after a stressful year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Digital mental health services can help individuals manage their mental health and wellbeing during the holidays and assist health practitioners to support their clients during periods of absence or planned breaks. There are many ways digital mental health services can help, from telephone and online counselling services, safety planning tools, online programs, peer-support, apps and information sites. They can be self-guided for people who prefer to work on their own or undertaken with the assistance of a therapist/coach. These resources are available for anyone facing problems, not just people with a mental health diagnosis.
We have compiled a list of suitable, evidence-based or evidence informed, Australian resources in our ‘Managing Your Mental Health Online During the Holidays’ factsheet. Through this factsheet, which can be downloaded for free through our Resource Library, you can access a wide variety of services includes:
Phone and Online Counselling Services
There are a range of phone and online counselling services, providing support for a range of issues, such as stress, anxiety, depression, relationships, loneliness, and other mental health concerns.
A crisis support and suicide prevention phone and online chat service, providing 24/7 phone counselling and online crisis support chat every evening. They provide support and information to anyone suffering from a mental condition or concerned about themselves or someone else.
Telephone, online chat, and email support for anyone affected to depression or anxiety, and provide information about mental health and illness through their website. Beyond Blue aims to equip everyone in Australia with knowledge and skills to protect their mental health, increase confidence, and reduce stigma.
An anonymous national support line providing telephone and online chat services for people experiencing loneliness. They aim to help Australian’s who need to reconnect or just what a chat, staffed by friendly, trained volunteers “ready for a cuppa and a conversation”.
A phone and online counseling and referrals service for people of diverse sex, genders, and sexualities. They provide early intervention and peer-based support for LGBTI people experiencing poor mental health, psychological distress, social isolation, discrimination or other social determinants that im[act on their health and wellbeing.
There are a wide range of apps available to support users’ mental health and wellbeing. They provide peer-support, information, tips and strategies, or guide users through a program to improve their mental health and wellbeing. Digital mental health apps are a great tool to help build good mental health as users can access them at any time and work through them at their own pace.
An app based on cognitive behavioural therapy, designed to help individuals overcome low moods and anxiety by discovering new coping strategies. MoodMission learns users’ unique coping styles and tailors future suggestions based on past successes. The app is free to download from the Apple App Store
A website and app from Hello Sunday Morning supporting individuals change their relationship with alcohol, cutting back or taking a break with professional and community support. The app is free to download from the Apple Apps Store and Google Play Store.
A website and app teaching mindfulness meditation to young people (7-22 yrs) and adults. Their aim is to provide accessible, lifelong tools based in mindfulness meditation to create happier, healthier, and more compassionate young people. The app is free to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Moderated forums provide a safe, supportive online environment where users can connect with other people experiencing similar issues. There are forums for a range of mental health issues and demographics, allowing users to access peer-to-peer support for everything from day-to-day issues to larger concerns.
Online peer-support for a range of mental health and wellbeing concerns, for individuals, their family, and friends. The online forums are moderated and require registration to participate in the discussion however, posts can be viewed at any time anonymously.
Online communities, group chats, and one-on-one direct support with headspace professionals supporting young people going through a tough time, their friends and family. Allows young people to connect with others experiencing similar issues and explore a range of topics relating to mental health and wellbeing.
Digital mental health programs come in a variety of forms, allowing users to work through mental health treatment online. Self-guided programs are designed for people to work through on their own, addressing mental health concerns such as worry, stress, anxiety, depression, low mood and more. Many of these programs are based on CBT principles and can be completed at their users own pace, working through a series of steps, modules, or workbooks to help prevent or manage symptoms of wellbeing issues.
An interactive self-help service that aims to promote resilience and wellbeing for people experiencing mild to moderate stress, anxiety and/or depression. The program was developed by Black Dog Institute to support real-time monitoring of symptoms and behaviours, and includes interactive skill-building modules.
A one-stop site for information and programs supporting the mental health and emotional wellbeing of pregnant women, new mums, and their families. They aim to help new parents feel confident in dealing with the emotional challenges of pregnancy and parenting.
A self-help interactive program with modules for depression, generalised anxiety and worry, social anxiety, relationship breakdown, and loss and grief. It teaches evidence-based strategies drawn from cognitive behavioural and interpersonal therapies.
In addition to self-guided programs, there are also a range of digital mental health programs that offer therapist support or can be completed with the guidance of a health professional. Some of these services connect users to a practitioner who acts as a coach for the duration of the program and tracks their progress, while others are designed to be used with the assistance of your own health professional. Many of these programs offer both self-guided and therapist-supported options.
Clinician supported online programs for a range of issues including stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and chronic pain. Courses include assessment, lessons, feedback and therapist support over an eight-week period, providing skills and information to help people break unhelpful habits and learn core psychological skills.
This Way Up
Self-paced online CBT courses for a range of different issues which can be self-guided or completed with the assistance of a user’s own clinician. The courses aim to help individuals tackle psychological difficulties in a way that’s discreet, convenient, and effective.
Mental Health Online
Free online programs for a range of issues including anxiety, depression, stress and wellbeing. The 12 week courses provide information about mental health disorders, online assessment, evidence-based treatment targeted at a single clinical disorder or multiple disorders, and feedback. Courses can be completed independently or with the assistance of clinician trained in the delivery of online treatment.
There are a wide variety of website providing information, advice and tips on a range of mental health concerns. These sites can help answer questions and provide information about a varied of mental health and wellbeing conditions, and share lived-experience stories. Mental health information sites can also provide tips to address individual mental health concerns, helping to connect them with available mental health treatment, as well as worksheets, guides, and toolkits.
Straightforward and concise information for people with complex mental health needs and their supports. The website provides guides on treatment and self-help, in addition to moderated forums providing peer-support and sharing information for people living with a mental illness or related mental health issues, their family, friends and other carers.
Up to date Information and articles on a range of topics to help young people get through everything from everyday issues to tough times. The website provides self-help information, peer-support and referral tools to help young people, and information to help parent to support their children.
Resources and Support for Health Workers
There are a range of digital mental health resources designed to help allied health professionals, GPs, psychologists, frontline workers, and other health care professionals. These resources can help health workers support clients and take care of their own mental health and wellbeing. From support to use telehealth with patients, to tips and programs for managing life and work, these resources come in a variety of formats and cover a range of topics.
A website for frontline health and wellbeing workers to easily access culturally relevant resources to use with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. Brings together a range of social, emotional and cultural wellbeing online resources including apps, websites, audio, documents, social media, videos and online counselling.
TEN – The Essential Network for Health Professionals
App and website connecting Health Professionals to fast, easy, and anytime access tools, resources, and peer support to help them optimise mental health. TEN was developed as a single point of entry self-assessment, information and self-management resources for health professionals experiencing mental health concerns.
View or download the Managing Your Mental Health Online During the Holidays here to start utilising digital mental health support. This factsheet contains links to a range of specific resources for supporting mental health during the holiday season.