This episode will discuss Nick Titov’s work in digital mental health, including tips and advice for practitioners, and digital mental health in the Australian Healthcare System.
In episode 3 we speak to Professor Nick Titov about his work in digital mental health and digital mental health in the Australian Healthcare system.
Nick Titov is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, Macquarie University. His work focuses on the development and delivery of digital psychological treatments. He has been involved in more than 90 clinical trials of psychological interventions involving more than 10,000 people across four countries. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers.
Nick is also Executive Director of both the MindSpot and PORTS’ Clinics. MindSpot is an Australian national service that provides digital assessment and treatment for adults with anxiety and depression. PORTS delivers digital mental health services to primary care across the state of WA. Together, these clinics employ more than 60 mental health professionals and serve more than 30,000 people per year. His research and clinical services have attracted more than $80M in funding.
What is the MindSpot Clinic?
The MindSpot Clinic is a digital health service providing psychological assessments and treatments for people with depression and anxiety. MindSpot was launched in 2012 and began as one of the first clinical trials in the world to explore whether psychological treatment could be delivered via the internet. Since then the demand for their digital services has grown considerably and they currently serve about 30,000 people each year.
Visit the MindSpot Clinic website at https://mindspot.org.au/ to learn more about the Clinic and treatment programs available.
Has there been a shift in mental health care provision towards online prevention in the last 14 months with the COVID-19 pandemic?
There has been a lot of enthusiasm about this shift from the traditional models of care to e-mental health, and MindSpot certainly saw massive increases in demand. If we look around the world and here in Australia it is clear things have shifted, such as the Australian Government announcing its commitment in the latest budget to increase funding to the digital mental health sector to provide more comprehensive online prevention and treatment. This is reflected overseas in the United States of America and Europe where there is increased funding in online interventions and digital therapeutics. It is important to consider the importance of sustainability in this developing sector with a focus on translating intentions into outcomes.
What is the MindSpot Academy and who is it for?
The vision of the MindSpot Academy is to support the development of the next generation of mental health practitioners who are technologically comfortable, competent, and safe, and then extend that to the existing workforce. The MindSpot Academy begins by looking at the needs of the individual practitioners to ensure the training helps them to understand how to use technology effectively and safely. Participants then practice these skills, building mastery with good supervision and develop confidence in using technology safely and wisely without fear. Since the Academy’s launch about 12 months ago they have had interns, students, registrars, registered psychologists undertake and complete training.
Head to the MindSpot Academy website to learn more or get involved at https://mindspot.org.au/mindspot-academy
What are the key lessons and tips for practitioners?
- Recognize your blind spots and biases. Being trained in the face-to-face modality comes with a range of assumptions, implications, and beliefs that will be challenged by the digital environment.
- Recognise the hype around digital mental health. As a practitioner, it is important to get back to first principles on what you are trying to achieve and why you would use a tool, or why your client would need a tool.
- Find two or three resources and do your due diligence. Contact them and find out what makes them tick. Try the resource yourself and evaluate it.
- Start small and over time build your repertoire.
MindSpot Clinic: https://mindspot.org.au/
MindSpot Academy: https://mindspot.org.au/mindspot-academy
PORTS Clinic: https://ports.org.au/
Contact Nick Titov with and questions at:
Listen to the full conversation below. You can also access Digital Mental Health Musings on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, and Deezer.
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