This episode will discuss eHub, MoodGym, eCouch, their role in the Australian mental health landscape and key learnings from the last 20 years.
In this episode of Digital Mental Health Musings host, Dr. Tania McMahon speaks to Kylie Bennett from e-Hub Health about e-Couch, moodgym, what they have learned over the last 20 years working in digital mental health.
Dr Kylie Bennett is the Managing Director of e-Hub Health which delivers automated, evidence-based online self-help programs for mental health. The programs include moodgym, a cognitive behaviour therapy (iCBT) training program for young people and e-couch which provides self-directed training in a range of psychological approaches for managing common mental health problems. She previously worked at the Australian National University for 15 years as part of a team which developed and evaluated e-mental health interventions, and subsequently led a commercialisation process resulting in the successful spin-off of e-hub Health in 2016. Kylie has personal experience of depression and anxiety and is passionate about empowering individuals to manage their mental health through quality and accessible resources.
How did e-Hub Health come about and what does it look like now?
“it’s always about informing and empowering people” – Kylie Bennett
e-Hub Health began more than 20 years ago by pioneers in the field of digital mental health, exploring how the internet could help overcome multiple barriers and distribute CBT on mass across Australia. The team included technical staff, clinicians and mental health researchers, engaging with consumers to develop and then evaluate the moodgym program in various contexts. The program developed a strong evidence base across the mental health spectrum, which lead to the e-couch program conceptualisation and development. In 2016 a commercialisation process began, with e-Hub Health founded to provide the programs and continue development and research.
Over the last 20 years since moodgym first began they have changed and evolved with continuous research. However, the core CBT content has remained the same due to the evidence showing that it works in many settings, and with many groups.
What is the difference between moodgym and e-couch? How do they fit into the Australian mental health landscape?
“we [e-Hub Health] are in the sphere of early intervention and that’s exactly where self-help tools can be so powerful” – Kylie Bennett
e-Hub Health’s programs are designed for the entire population as a prevention and early intervention resource. Their goal is the precision of information and tools to support the prevention of mental health problems. While not providing intensive treatment, they provide evidence-based information to empower people to make good decisions about their mental health.
While moodgym and e-couch are iterations of each other, e-couch having been developed from the findings of moodgym, there are quite a few differences between the two programs. moodgym is a linear program designed for young people. The modules must be completed in order, with the intention of helping young people understand that feelings of depression and anxiety can be helped.
e-couch was designed for adults and is much more comprehensive including modules for grief and loss, and diverse and separation, as well as depression, generalised anxiety, and social anxiety. It is disorder-based, providing mental health literacy information, in addition to different evidence-based techniques and therapies.
How can practitioners utilise e-Hub Health’s programs to enhance their practice?
“empowering people to choose, and to choose services that are relevant to them” – Kylie Bennett
These programs can support GP’s and other health professionals with early intervention, helping people assess how they are feeling, and whether they want to reach out for more support, such as face-to-face help with a psychologist. They provide tools and strategies, as well as mental health literacy, aiding people to understand what different mental health professionals provide, how they can help and how to get started.
These programs can also be a great tool for clients on a waitlist, helping them to become ‘therapy-ready’ to hit the ground running once sessions begin.
Visit the e-Hub Health website at https://assist.ehubhealth.com
Explore the moodgym program: https://moodgym.com.au/
Explore the e-couch program: https://ecouch.com.au/
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