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Head to Health – an online pathway to mental health care

27 February 2018 - Dr Jan Orman

What do you do when you know you have a problem, but you don’t know where to go for help? It’s a common dilemma.

Who needs help finding mental health care?

You may not know what your problem is, but you know you are not functioning as well as you should. You may not think it is bad enough to bother your GP with it, or not something your GP would be interested in. You may want to be better informed before you talk to your GP about it, or you may not want to talk to your GP about it at all. You may also be unhappy with the kind of treatment you are getting at present and want to know what other options are available. Whatever the issue there is a new online help site that may provide you with just the help you need.

Finding the right care online

Late last year the Australian Federal Government launched the first iteration of its new online portal to mental health care, Head to Health (https://headtohealth.gov.au/) The site is designed to provide Australians with access to information about mental health conditions and reliable treatment options. Great care has been taken to ensure that it is easy to use and that the information is reliable and up to date.

The site includes information about face to face and online treatment options. It can be tailored to meet the user’s specific needs through filters and the use of a “chat bot” (called Sam) which provides the opportunity to have a virtual conversation with the site to guide the user to the right sections for their needs.

If you are a health professional check out the Head to Health site. Its great to have a sense of what your patients are experiencing and a place to recommend that your patients go for more information.

Future possibilities and a chance to have your say

Future iterations of the site will also include special features for health professionals and the developers are keen to know what sort of features health professionals would be interested in having included, and what they feel are the barriers to use of the site for their patients and clients.

You are welcome to comment here if you are a health professional who is part of the eMHPrac Community. We will pass your suggestions on to the developers.

It’s a great opportunity to have some say at the development stage.

Dr Jan Orman
Dr Jan Orman

Jan is Sydney GP, private psychological medicine practitioner in Sydney’s inner west and a GP educator for Black Dog Institute.

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