The Australian Government, through this Strategy, is moving from funding a small number of proven and successful online mental health and telephone crisis support services, to a respected, evidence based, accessible, professionally recognised and integrated e-mental health service environment.
Research in Australia and internationally shows that outcomes for those who participate in online therapies are broadly comparable to those of face to face services using similar treatment techniques. E-mental health services are accessible, allowing people to access these services at a time and place that is convenient to them, and offer an effective alternative to conventional treatments for people who live in areas with limited services, have difficulty with transport or are reluctant to engage with face to face services.
Underpinning this expansion is the current investment that has been undertaken by the Australian Government through a number of e-mental health services under the Telephone Counselling, Self Help and Web-based Support Programme, which commenced in 2006. This program has demonstrated the value of e-mental health services and provided insight into service gaps and future opportunities for the continued development of online and telephone services.