Anonymous peer support available online for mental illness
National mental health charity SANE Australia has launched two online peer support forums for people living with mental illness and their families, friends and carers.
SANE Australia said it had invested in the best technology available so that people whose lives are affected by mental illness can feel confident to join the conversation online on an anonymous basis and find support.
“Despite the significant and welcome investment governments have made in mental health in recent years, the majority of people living with a mental illness are not currently accessing professional help,” SANE Australia CEO Jack Heath said.
“We need to be savvy in delivering support in cost-effective and efficient ways. Late help will always be expensive help. The SANE forums can reduce mental health costs by encouraging people to seek help early on.”
Launched in Canberra today, the forums have been funded by the Department of Health. Health Minister Peter Dutton said the forums would help people by giving them trusted and anonymous access to reliable mental health information, advice and referrals.
“While almost half of the Australian population will develop a mental illness at some point in their lives, only 46 per cent of this group will seek any form of support or treatment,” Mr Dutton said in a statement.
“We know that there are many reasons that people do not seek treatment like a fear of being stigmatised, living too far from a medical practitioner and not knowing how to get information and care.
“Online mental health services like the new SANE Australia online forums can combat this to reach people who might otherwise not receive the support they need.”
Posted in Allied Health