FitMindKit is an innovative eHealth therapy being developed by Canberra researchers at the Australian National University to treat a range of mental health problems.
eHealth is the delivery of health services via electronic technology like computers and mobile phones – a clinically proven alternative to face-to-face consultations.
It is estimated that about 45% of people with mental health problems are facing more than one issue but to date, most online programs have focused on single disorders. Using emerging technology, it is now possible to provide self-guided interventions to address symptoms of depression, anxiety, substance use and suicidal thoughts, which researchers anticipate will result in better outcomes than focusing on single mental health problems.
Led by Dr Phillip Batterham, the research team is building on new methods for rapid screening of mental health problems. According to Dr Batterham: “By broadly assessing an individual’s mental health status, we hope to tailor therapeutic content directly to their needs using the FitMindKit program.” The researchers are currently scoping community attitudes and preferences for the delivery of online programs.
Research to enable the development of FitMindKit has been made possible by a generous donation to AFFIRM from the John James Memorial Foundation.
Philanthropic funding is critical for the sustainability of mental health research in Australia.