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New E-mental health tool launched



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THE HON MARK BUTLER MP

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing

Minister for Social Inclusion

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform

MEDIA RELEASE

23 July 2012

NEW E-MENTAL HEALTH TOOL LAUNCHED

Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler today launched a new online mental health tool designed to support people living with a mental health issue such as anxiety or depression.

Developed by a team of health professionals at the Black Dog Institute, and funded by the Australian Government, myCompass is an online tool that assesses user symptoms, then provides a personalised support program.

The interactive program includes online psychological tools, round-the-clock monitoring of moods and behaviours and motivational tips via email and SMS.

The tool is part of the Government’s recently launched e-mental health strategy.

“With four in five Australians turning to the web for information about their health it was critical to develop online tools that provide good information and advice,” Mr Butler said.

“And we also know that one in five Australians will experience a mental illness in a given year but less than half of these people will seek treatment.

“So anything we can do to help people take the first step in asking for help is a good thing.”

myCompass developer A/Prof Judy Proudfoot said the tool was evidence based and complimented traditional health services.

“myCompass has been designed to support people that may not seek help because of lack of time, lack of access to face-to-face, services or a fear of stigma,” said A/Prof Proudfoot.

“It provides a suite of simple strategies that will educate people to self-monitor and self-manage unhelpful thoughts and behaviour. It’s easy to access and simple to understand so you can improve your long-term mental health.

“Most importantly of all, clinical evidence shows that it works.”

Mr Butler said the initiative builds on the Australian Government’s e-Mental Health portal announced earlier this month and is part of a $2.2 billion investment in mental health services.

Media contact: Tim O’Halloran 0409 059 617