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E-mental health: a new era in delivery of mental health services

Helen Christensen and Ian B Hickie
Med J Aust 2010; 192 (11 Suppl): S2-S3.

Innovative web services can overcome the barriers that block access to mental health care

A range of factors have come together rapidly over the past decade to create a health services environment in which web-based technologies now offer one of the most promising opportunities for earlier and better management of common mental health problems. These factors include international recognition of the health burden attributable to anxiety, depression and substance misuse;1 epidemiological evidence that mental disorders largely commence before the age of 25 years;2,3 the development of highly interactive web-based technologies, and their widespread use in Australia (particularly among young people); and rapidly changing community attitudes towards help seeking for mental health problems.4-6

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  • Helen Christensen1
  • Ian B Hickie2

  • 1 Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT.
  • 2 Brain & Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.


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  • 4. Highet NJ, Luscombe GM, Davenport TA, et al. Positive relationships between public awareness activity and recognition of the impacts of depression in Australia. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2006; 40: 55-58
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  • 12. Hickie IB, Luscombe GM, Davenport TA, Burns JM. Perspectives of young people on depression: awareness, experiences, attitudes and treatment preferences. Early Interv Psychiatry 2007; 1: 333-339.
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  • 15. Fourth National Mental Health Plan Working Group. Fourth National Mental Health Plan: an agenda for collaborative government action in mental health 2009–2014. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 2009. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-pubs-f-plan09 (accessed May 2010).
  • 16. Christensen H, Proudfoot J, Andrews G, et al. E-mental health: a 2020 vision and strategy for Australia. http://www.ehub.anu.edu.au/workshop2009_presentations/Emental_Health_2020_Vision_and_Strategy_for_Australia.pdf (accessed May 2010).
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