Mobile focus for mental health charity

Mental health charity SANE Australia has embraced the burgeoning mobile phone platform, launching a mobile version of its website designed for iPhones and other smartphones with a host of resources customised for on-the-go access.

“We have witnessed changes in the way people are seeking help and information, especially young people, with a third of SANE Helpline enquiries originating from the Internet. Now, with the rapid expansion in the use of iPhones and similar devices, there is a clear demand for this type of support among all age groups,” said the group’s executive director Barbara Hocking in a statement.

“Australians’ lives increasingly revolve around mobile technology, and we want to ensure that when people search for information about mental health issues, they have access to an authoritative, up-to- date and easy-to-understand source.”

The news comes as mental health organisations and the broader health community are increasingly targeting the mobile phone platform as a means of making health information available.

For example, one top-selling “App” in the Apple App Store is an Australian First Aid pocket guide, created by ambulance paramedics to act as a resource in an emergency. Many of the others are focused on fitness, but some Apps provide meditation guides and information about staying positive during a crisis.

SANE said its mobile site was specifically optimised for the diminutive screen size offered by mobile devices and would provide a range of information including multimedia offerings such as podcasts and video. Critically, those concerned about their own mental health or that of a friend are now able to send an enquiry directly to SANE’s help line from their phone or connect with a health professional.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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