Our Digital Mental Health Musings podcast aims to support health practitioners learn more about the digital mental health landscape in Australia. Our valued team member, Dr Ruth Crowther was instrumental in establishing and guiding the course of these conversations thus far. Ruth is now sadly leaving her role as host to focus on her practice as a clinical psychologist, handing the reins over to Dr Tania McMahon.
Tania is a Senior Research Officer within the eMHPrac Team and a registered Clinical Psychologist. She has worked in Psychology research for over 15 years, helping develop and test a range of innovative therapies and technologies, including telephone-based treatments, online programs and apps, to help improve mental health and wellbeing.
In the eMHPrac team, Tania develops, delivers, and evaluates training and education on digital mental health to health practitioners nationwide, and works closely with digital service providers to track trends in service usage.
Tania is a passionate and enthusiastic advocate of blended mental health care, drawing on her years in clinical private practice where she had first-hand experience integrating digital tools into her work with clients to enhance their treatment and support.
We asked Tania a few questions to help listeners get to know her a little more.
What are you most excited about, as the new host of Digital Mental Health Musings?
I can’t wait to take a more intimate, ‘behind the scenes’ look at the digital mental health services out there and explore the many ways different health practitioners can blend them into care. There are so many more interesting details you have access to when you’re having a casual podcast conversation, than when you’re delivering more formal education, such as a webinar. Our podcast is for health practitioners who are already familiar with what digital mental health is and want to know more. And because we don’t have to cover all the basics first, we can dive straight into the nitty gritty details – the fun stuff!
For those that tune in, what do you think they will learn about digital mental health that they didn’t know before?
They’ll really get to understand the specific roles that many of the digital services play and where they ‘fit’ in Australia’s digital mental health landscape, i.e. ‘why does this service exist, who can it help, and how can that help me and the patients I work with?’. I have loved the episodes spotlighting specific services and tools, like MindSpot, WellMob and Mood Mission, and I’m looking forward to more like that. Listeners will also get to know some of the nuanced ways that different health practitioners are utilising it in their work – health practitioners with different roles, differing amounts of contact with patients, different levels of clinical responsibility. Digital Mental health isn’t ‘one size fits all’ and we want health practitioners to learn that there are many ways that ‘blended care’ can work.
You’re a clinician using digital mental health in your practice, and you also see how other health practitioners blend digital mental health into their care. From this experience, what do you like most about digital mental health, as a whole?
To me, it feels like a huge untapped resource that can make our jobs so much easier. I love how it can provide trustworthy information, safe online social spaces, skills learning and so many other things that benefit wellbeing, all in a format that people can access in their own time. This takes the burden off health practitioners having to ‘do it all’ in the sometimes very limited contact we have. It’s a really beautiful use of technology to support mental health in ways that weren’t possible before, and rather than ‘replacing’ mental health practitioners, I think it actually has the potential to enhance or ‘power-up’ the level of care people get.
Tune in on Tuesday August 30th for the next episode of Digital Mental Health Musings to hear Dr Tania McMahon take a deeper look at Lifeline with Sherry Cameron and Tess Reddel. They will discuss Lifeline’s services, it’s role in the Australian digital mental health landscape, the Lifeline user experience and how health practitioners can use Lifeline in their patient care.