Trauma is an emotional response to a physically or emotionally threatening event. Whilst not everyone will develop problematic symptoms, some people may have longer lasting symptoms, require professional help, or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can affect anyone, coming in many forms and significantly impacting people’s daily life. Following PTSD awareness day on Monday, we wanted to explore how digital mental health tools can help people manage symptoms and recover from PTSD. There are a range of resources available, providing psychoeducation, peer support, counselling and self-help tools which can be used with the support of a health professional or independently.
Mental Health Online
The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Program
Mental Health Online is an internet-based treatment clinic for people with mental health problems. They offer information about mental health disorders, online assessment and online treatment programs on a range of conditions. Their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) program helps users understand and manage symptoms, and learn how to change the unhelpful thought and beliefs maintaining PTSD. It can also teach distraction and relaxation techniques to reduce stress or physical symptoms.
The PTSD Course
The MindSpot Clinic is a free national service for Australian adults experiencing stress, worry, low mood, chronic pain, or depression, providing online assessment and treatment courses. Their PTSD course is designed to help adults aged 18 years or over manage psychological and emotional symptoms following a traumatic event. It helps participants recognise the cycle of PTSD symptoms, challenge unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, manage psychical symptoms, and reduce symptoms to stay well after the course.
THIS WAY UP
Post traumatic stress Program
THIS WAY UP is an Australian provider of evidence-based, online cognitive behavioural therapy programs on a range of mental health conditions. Their suite of programs includes a post-traumatic stress program, teaching practical strategies for managing recurrent flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety following a traumatic event.
My Digital Health
Life Flex 4 PTSD
My Digital Health is a website offering general mental health and eHealth information and programs on a range of mental health issues. Their Life Flex 4 PTSD program is a 7-module mobile and web biopsychosocial and cognitive behavioural intervention program for post-traumatic stress symptoms. The program focuses on increasing biological, emotional, thinking, behavioural and wellness flexibility and increasing positive emotions.
PTSD Coach Australia
Available to download from the App Store and Google Play
PTSD Coach Australia is an app developed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to help people understand and manage symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It includes information about PTSD and treatment, tools, skills and links to additional support to help manage symptoms.
Better Health Channel
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The Better Health Channel provides health and medical information for individuals and communities. Their website includes information on a range of topics and mental health conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Users can access information about the symptoms of PTSD, impacts, treatment and ways to get support, as well as how PTSD affects children. alcohol use and drug use.
Beyond Blue is a mental health organisation providing information and support on anxiety, depression, suicide prevention, supporting someone, staying well and more. Their website includes information on PTSD including the signs and symptoms, who is commonly affected and available treatments. Beyond Blue also offers peer support through an online forum where users can discuss a range of issues including their own or a loved one’s experiences with PTSD.
Black Dog Institute
Understanding post-traumatic stress disorder
The Black Dog Institute is a mental health organisation aiming to improve the lives of people affected by mental illness. Their website includes information on a range of topics including post-traumatic stress disorder. Users can access information about the condition, signs and symptoms of PTSD, causes, treatment and finding help, as well as personal stories from people with lived experience of PTSD. Black Dog Institute have also developed an online mental health assessment tool that screens for 10 mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, providing a full report and recommendations to get help.
Defence Family Helpline
1800 624 608
The Defence Family Helpline is 24-7 helpline providing support and information to Australian defence families by qualified human services professionals.
Dealing with trauma
Kids Helpline is a free, confidential 24-hour counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25 years, available over the phone, via email and on the Kids Helpline website. Their website includes information for young people and their parents on a range of topics relevant to youth mental health including dealing with trauma. Users can access information about the different types of trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and coping strategies.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Open Arms is a mental health assessment, clinical counselling and support service for Australian veterans and their families. Their website includes information on a range of topics including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), describing the symptoms, impact, and treatment information.
Phoenix Australia is a not-for-profit organisation for post-traumatic mental health, promoting recovery and improving wellbeing after trauma. Their website contains a range of information, factsheets and other self-help resources for people affected by trauma or supporting others who have been affected by trauma.
Acute stress and post-traumatic stress disorder
ReachOut is an online mental health service for young people and parents, providing information, peer-support and referral tools. Their website covers a range of topics to help young people stay well including acute stress and post-traumatic stress disorder. They outline the signs, symptoms and causes for acute stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder and ways to access help.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
SANE Australia is a mental health organisation for people with complex mental health issues in Australia, their families, friends, and supporters. Their website provides information and moderated peer support forums or a range of mental health conditions. Users can access information about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the symptoms, causes, strategies to manage symptoms, and avenues for treatment.
Resources for Trauma
There are also a range of resources available to help people experiencing or recovering from trauma. These services are not designed to support people experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, however they do provide information and support for individuals dealing with trauma, their family, friends, and supporters.
A national telephone and online counselling service for people experiencing in the effects of sexual assault or domestic and family violence. Their website includes information on healthy relationships, violence and abuse, and ways to access support.
An online program for people who have experienced trauma who use alcohol or other substances. The program teaches practical skills for health and wellbeing through four modules, providing education, activities, techniques and skills working towards a long-term recovery plan.
Available to download from the App Store and Google Play
An app developed by 1800RESPECT to connect women experiencing violence or abuse to services in their local area. It includes safety features to help protect users privacy.
Black Dog Institute Bush Fire Support Service
A free mental health assessment tool providing insight into users feelings and indicates whether they are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress. They also provide information on coping with the stress of bushfires, symptoms and support options.
Blue Knot Foundation
A national organisation providing phone support, information, resources, tools and workshops to support survivors of childhood trauma and abuse, their families, partners and loved ones.
An organisation dedicated to improving the mental health and emotional wellbeing of infants, children, adolescents and their families. Their Community Trauma Toolkit includes information and resources to support communities, families and individuals understand the impacts of a traumatic event and help children navigate it.
An Australian service providing information, encouragement and support to men who have experienced childhood sexual abuse or adulthood sexual assault, as well as their supporters. Their website includes information, counselling, group programs and professional development.
A website for first responders providing information and practical tools to promote mental fitness, increase performance and improve wellbeing.
Trauma and Grief Network
A virtual space to browse online resources for child and adolescent trauma, loss, and grief. Their website includes information, tips, and relevant resources about the impact of trauma of children at different ages and stages.