Authors: Sean FitzGerald
Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Technology, e-health, Change, Innovation, Reform, Advocacy
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Mental health service providers in both government and non-government sectors are increasingly moving towards delivering mental health resources and services digitally (Christensen et al 2014). This includes online interventions and smartphone apps.
However, many people with complex and persistent mental health issues – particularly those on low income – who would benefit from these resources may lack the awareness, skills and technology necessary to access and utilise them.
Ensuring access for this disadvantaged group is an issue of equity (Robotham et al 2016). People experiencing complex and persistent mental health issues and socio-economic disadvantage have a right to access the same e-mental health resources as everybody else. Otherwise, this group of mental health consumers are in danger of being left behind.
In this paper I will report on the experience of developing and delivering presentations and workshops that help mental health consumers become aware of the digital mental health resources that are available, and how to access them. This has included how to select, acquire and use affordable digital devices and Internet data.
I will also suggest some future directions, ideas and possible projects to help improve digital access and digital literacy for people with mental health issues going forward.
Learning Objective 1: People attending this presentation will learn about ways that mental health consumers can be assisted in accessing digital mental health resources and services, and related technologies.
Learning Objective 2: This presentation will highlight the need for more attention to be paid to ensuring that mental health consumers acquire the awareness, skills and technologies necessary to access and utilise emerging digital mental health resources.
Christensen, H., Proudfoot, J., Woodward, A., Hosie, A., Klein, B., Morgan, C., & Humphreys, T. (2014). e-Mental Health Services in Australia 2014: Current and Future. The e-Mental Health Alliance: Australia. https://emhalliance.fedehealth.org.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2014/10/e-Mental-Health-in-Australia-2014.pdf accessed 25 Feb 2017.
Robotham D, Satkunanathan S, Doughty L, Wykes T (2016) Do We Still Have a Digital Divide in Mental Health? A Five-Year Survey Follow-up. J Med Internet Res 18(11):e309 URL: https://www.jmir.org/2016/11/e309 accessed 3 March 2017