Australians living with mental illness will soon be able to access online care and support, as the nation’s first mental health online portal and virtual clinic is developed.
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler announced the initiatives, saying, “Continuing advances in technology are revolutionising the way we provide health care, in particular for patients with chronic illnesses and conditions, such as mental illness.”
The rollout of these new online programs will be considered by an expert committee of mental health professionals.
Social media expert, Rachel de Sain will join mental health professionals as a technical advisor on the expert committee to provide advice on how to maximise e-mental health and harness the opportunities presented by the new and emerging technologies including the National Broadband Network.
The Gillard Government is providing $48 million in funding over the next 5 years for telephone counselling, self-help and web based support services to boost efforts in mental health prevention and early intervention.