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Barriers to engagement in mental health treatment commonly include poor access to mental health services, problems recognising symptoms in the general population (known as poor mental health literacy), perceptions of shame or stigma, and/or a preference for self-reliance. COVID-19 has increasingly limited access to mental health services, so that some consumers are struggling to know where to turn.
Online referral tools offer discretion when someone is not ready to seek formal help or wants to manage things on their own with some support. Online referral tools might facilitate help-seeking amongst consumers who do not know where to start or who are struggling to find available services.
In this edition, we highlight online tools providing referral to resources, digital interventions, and local face-to-face services.
In this edition:
- Online Referral Tools
- WellMob Video Series
- Latest eMHPrac Podcast – Episode 7 with Professor Tricia Nagel
- Upcoming Live Webinar
- See the eMHPrac team at these upcoming conferences
- Read the latest dMH research articles
- This month’s featured service: Gamble Aware
Online Referral Tools
eMHPrac lists a range of digital referral tools, allowing practitioners and consumers to check their symptoms or define their problem, then find relevant and trusted face-to-face or online services without needing to speak to someone. In this section, we highlight the new “Path2Help” resource and list other digital referral tools for different populations.
A new tool from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) to help you support your loved ones with alcohol or drugs.
Navigating your way through the maze of support services for family and friends of people who use alcohol and other drugs has finally become easier, thanks to Path2Help. Research found that most people (71%) find it difficult to access alcohol and other drug information and support because they don’t know where to look or what questions to ask. That’s why the ADF created Path2Help – an online tool you can turn to. Path2Help asks up to 11 questions and provides local support services based on your answers – you don’t need to know what you’re looking for, Path2Help’s intuitive search function does it all for you. Sifting through more than 7,000 specialist services, the app can help you have conversations about alcohol and other drugs, manage conflict, find support and treatment, and more. Path2Help is free and confidential.
Visit Path2Help here: https://adf.org.au/help-support/path2help/
eMHPrac lists other digital referral tools, including the following:
Butterfly Foundation – Chat to Kit
Free, confidential, 24/7 referral to information, coping tips, resources and phone and online support services for individuals or their loved ones struggling with body image or eating concerns.
Developed by researchers at Monash University and Swinburne University.
ReachOut Next Steps
Provides 18–25-year olds with links to suitable support options in 3 steps. Lists crisis services, online tools, information on accessing face-to-face mental health support, and Reach Out pages on relevant topics.
Head to Health – Find with Sam
Sam, the virtual assistant, helps link consumers to online mental health services. Input the situation, then Sam guides consumers to government-funded, evidence-based phone services, online programs, apps and forums.
WellMob Video Series
WellMob has just released a series of animated videos to help health practitioners and interested individuals get started with digital wellbeing resources. These videos provide quick, simple insights into the WellMob website, the resources that can be found there and ways health workers can use them with clients. Find the full video series and more tools on the WellMob website at https://wellmob.org.au/.
The first video provides a short, animated introduction to the WellMob website. It describes the site and the types of wellbeing materials and resources people can find on the website, including apps, podcasts, websites, videos, social media, printable materials and training resources for workers. This video was designed for anyone interested in digital wellbeing resources including health and wellbeing workers. Watch the full video on the WellMob YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vf-LWK6Kz0&t=1s
The second video presents an animated tour of the WellMob website. Starting on the landing page, it shows the six main topics resources are organized under and guides viewers through the steps to find digital wellbeing resources. This video was designed to support anyone interested in digital wellbeing resources including health and wellbeing workers. Watch the full video on the WellMob YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRSQ_QAIraw&t=4s
The third video provides health workers with a range of tips on how to use digital wellbeing resources found on WellMob with clients. This video was designed to support health practitioners and community workers interested in using digital wellbeing resources with clients. Watch the full video on the WellMob YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUJIGJdI9-k&t=20s
Did you catch the latest episode of the eMHPrac Podcast?
Ep.7 – Yarning about Mental Health – A conversation with Professor Tricia Nagel
In episode 7, Dr Ruth Crowther speaks to Professor Tricia Nagel about the Aboriginal and Islander Mental health initiative (AIMhi), the Stay Strong app and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander digital mental health.
Professor Tricia Nagel has thirty years of experience working in NT rural and remote mental health and substance use settings as a psychiatrist and educator. Since 2003 Professor Tricia Nagel has led a research program based at Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin. The program promotes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives on mental health and access to culturally responsive services and treatments. It has transitioned over two decades from face-to-face, paper-based treatments and tools, to digital solutions that continue to embed holistic and empowering elements.
Ruth and Tricia discuss First Nations mental health, the AIMhi project, its goals, challenges and how it has evolved, as well as the Stay Strong app, the Strong Country, Strong People website and Tricia’s tips for how to use digital mental health resources in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in rural and remote areas.
Upcoming Black Dog Institute Live Webinar
Webinar 51 | Internet Gaming Disorder
Wednesday 8th December 1:00pm (Australia/Sydney)
Wednesday 8th December 7:30pm (Australia/Sydney)
Internet gaming is a particularly popular activity amongst young people. Despite its recreational and entertainment aspects, a minority of individuals engage excessively experiencing problems in their education, employment, and relationships with others. This webinar will explore issues related to disordered gaming presentation, assessment and treatment, integrating contemporary research and clinical practice evidence.
- Describing gaming behaviours related to higher risk of disordered gaming.
- Identity cases/clients presenting a higher risk for disordered gaming to be referred to specialized services.
- Integrate game related mechanics, such as flow, presence and the user-avatar bond in their case formulation and treatment planning regarding at-risk clients.
- Identify online resources useful for families and people suffering from disordered gaming.
Catch us at these upcoming confernces
STOP Domestic Violence Conference
1-3 December 2021, Gold Coast and Online
The STOP Domestic Violence Conference aims to share skills, examine the latest research and connect people with others dedicated to ending domestic and family violence. This year the theme is ‘strong words, stronger actions: creating change now and for future generations’, supporting attendees to create the change they want to see with presentation, workshops, networking functions and more.
Speak to the eMHPrac team at our trade exhibit, online or in-person and pick up some of our resources.
To register for the conference or view the program, click the link below:
Indigenous Wellbeing Conference
7-8 December 2021, Cairns and Online
The Indigenous Wellbeing Conference brings together the latest Indigenous-led, grassroots programs and projects from across the nation to learn about Indigenous protocols, practices and considerations and how to implement practice, evidence-based research into services. The conference will share practical solutions around the existing health care gaps, and ways to connect with services, communities and clients that acknowledges and encompasses the physical, spiritual and cultural needs of Indigenous populations.
Find us at our trade booth or catch a presentation by David Edwards and Sharnie Roberts from the WellMob project.
To register for the conference or view the program, click the link below:
On our reading radar…
Eisenstadt M, Liverpool S, Infanti E, Ciuvat R, Carlsson C. Mobile Apps That Promote Emotion Regulation, Positive Mental Health, and Well-being in the General Population: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JMIR Ment Health 2021;8(11):e31170. URL: https://mental.jmir.org/2021/11/e31170. DOI: 10.2196/31170
“Among the general public, there appears to be a growing need and interest in receiving digital mental health and well-being support. In response to this, mental health apps (MHapps) are becoming available for monitoring, managing, and promoting positive mental health and well-being. Thus far, evidence supports favorable outcomes when users engage with MHapps, yet there is a relative paucity of reviews on apps that support positive mental health and well-being.
We aimed to systematically review the available research on MHapps that promote emotion regulation, positive mental health, and well-being in the general population aged 18-45 years. More specifically, the review aimed at providing a systematic description of the theoretical background and features of MHapps while evaluating any potential effectiveness.
A comprehensive literature search of key databases, including MEDLINE (via Ovid), EMBASE (via Ovid), PsycINFO (via Ovid), Web of Science, and the Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), was performed until January 2021. Studies were included if they described standalone mental health and well-being apps for adults without a formal mental health diagnosis. The quality of all studies was assessed against the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. In addition, the Cochrane Risk-of-Bias tool (RoB-2) was used to assess randomized control trials (RCTs). Data were extracted using a modified extraction form from the Cochrane Handbook of Systematic Reviews. A narrative synthesis and meta-analysis were then undertaken to address the review aims.
In total, 3156 abstracts were identified. Of these, 52 publications describing 48 MHapps met the inclusion criteria. Together, the studies evaluated interventions across 15 countries. Thirty-nine RCTs were identified suggesting some support for the role of individual MHapps in improving and promoting mental health and well-being. Regarding the pooled effect, MHapps, when compared to controls, showed a small effect for reducing mental health symptoms (k=19, Hedges g=–0.24, 95% CI –0.34 to –0.14; P<.001) and improving well-being (k=13, g=0.17, 95% CI 0.05-0.29, P=.004), and a medium effect for emotion regulation (k=6, g=0.49, 95% CI 0.23-0.74, P<.001). There is also a wide knowledge base of creative and innovative ways to engage users in techniques such as mood monitoring and guided exercises. Studies were generally assessed to contribute unclear or a high risk of bias, or to be of medium to low methodological quality.
The emerging evidence for MHapps that promote positive mental health and well-being suggests promising outcomes. Despite a wide range of MHapps, few apps specifically promote emotion regulation. However, our findings may position emotion regulation as an important mechanism for inclusion in future MHapps. A fair proportion of the included studies were pilot or feasibility trials (k=17, 33%), and full-scale RCTs reported high attrition rates and nondiverse samples. Given the number and pace at which MHapps are being released, further robust research is warranted to inform the development and testing of evidence-based programs.”
Pote H, Rees A, Holloway-Biddle C, Griffith E. Workforce challenges in digital health implementation: How are clinical psychology training programmes developing digital competences? DIGITAL HEALTH. January 2021. doi:10.1177/2055207620985396
“Digital practice in psychological services is a rapidly expanding and innovative area which is supporting continuation of clinical provision during the COVID-19 pandemic. Training the workforce to deliver safe and effective online psychological provision is key to service success and relies on accurate mapping of competences and current training needs. This paper discusses the initial stage for developing the first digital mental health competence framework for applied psychology in the UK. It reports on the digital training currently provided nationally and barriers/facilitators to acquiring these competencies.
Eighteen of the thirty UK Clinical Psychology Doctoral training programmes completed a 16-item survey. This mapped current digital health teaching and skills acquisition for trainee Clinical Psychologists throughout their 3-year pre-registration training. Furthermore, potential barriers and facilitators to developing these digital skills for both trainee and qualified Clinical Psychologists were investigated.
The quantitative analysis highlighted the majority of respondents viewed developing digital mental health competencies with importance, but were not integrating this into teaching or clinical placements activity. The qualitative, inductive content analysis revealed seven key themes influencing the development of digital mental health skills, with the majority of respondents identifying with two themes; the need for practice guidelines (50% of respondents) and opportunities for digital mental health experience.
The findings suggest the need for a greater focus on developing the digital health knowledge, skills, and confidence across trainee and qualified Clinical Psychologists. Strategic analysis indicated the need to develop a framework for digital mental health competences across the curriculum and placement experience. Easily accessible learning packages may support the implementation of training nationally.”
This edition’s featured service…
A website providing practical tips to help people experiencing problem gambling get their life back on track.
About Gamble Aware
Gamble Aware is a website developed by the NSW Government providing free, confidential support for gamblers and their friends and families. The website aims to help people be gamble aware, providing information about problem gambling, the signs and practical tips to help people ‘show gambling who’s boss’ and gamble safely. Gamble Aware also includes access to the 24/7 gambling helpline for online and telephone counselling, and a 30 second test to help people calculate their risk of problem gambling.
Who is Gamble Aware for?
Gamble Aware has been developed for anyone concerned about their gambling, or the family and friends of someone who may have issues with gambling.
Is there a cost to use Gamble Aware?
No – Gamble Aware is a completely free website.
How to access Gamble Aware
Gamble Aware is available online at https://www.gambleaware.com.au/.