As the field of e-Mental Health continues to evolve it’s critical that we do research to keep expanding our understanding of how, why and for whom it works. Fortunately, there is a great deal of excellent research being done all over the world.
More recently I came across these researchers based in Australia. Launched in March 2015, Digital Dog is a “research group…working to use technology to solve mental health problems”. You can find a linke here – http://digitaldog.org.au. Digital Dog is a branch of world leader in mood disorders Black Dog Institute’s research programming. Check them out here http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au
Their definition of eMental Health (eMH)? eMH “refers to services that target common mental health problems and are delivered through online and mobile interactive websites, apps, sensor-based monitoring devices and computers as well as telephone and online crisis support lines.” Sounds comprehensive to me.
So what kind of research are they doing?
- Building and testing online interventions to lower depression, lower suicide risk and promote wellbeing (websites or apps)
- Establishing the validity of social media as an indicator of mental health risk
- Using the technology built into Mobile phones to measure mental health and social connectivity
- Harnessing technology to deliver preventative mental health programming in schools (games, apps, websites, and much more)
- Publishing papers to promote the usefulness and cost-effectiveness of e-health technologies
Whether it’s a positive psychology app based on values (SPARK) or determining whether people or computers can reliably detect suicidally “concerning” tweets or testing the effectiveness of web based self help programs the aim is to deliver evidence-based treatment.
And that means better resources for practitioners and clients.
You can’t go wrong with that.
Dawn M. Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate counsellor with Worldwide Therapy Online Inc. http://www.therapyonline.ca
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA