Politics Sector News Technology — 19 June 2014

The Federal Government has allocated $6.5 million for a program to train primary healthcare staff to use e-mental health therapies and associated technologies.

Queensland’s University of Technology will lead the e-Mental Health in Practice (eMHPrac) initiative in partnership with the Australian National University, the Black Dog Institute, the Menzies School of Health Research, the University of Rural Health, the Help on keyboardUniversity of Sydney, the Australian National University (ANU).

eMHPrac will provide specialised training and support around electronic mental health therapies for GPs, psychologists, social workers, nurses and other health professionals who are having trouble keeping abreast of developments in the field.

ANU said that over the next three years, it would be providing e-mental health training opportunities through face-to-face workshops, online training modules, an online discussion group, and webinars.

The government is also providing a further $5 million to create an e-mental health platform that makes it easier for young people to access mental health services.

“The government is investing in e-mental health as part of our overall plan to improve primary care, which will be crucial to the future success of our health system,” Minister for Health Peter Dutton said in a statement.

“International research has demonstrated that telephone and online services can be equally effective for people with anxiety and depression as face-to-face therapy.”

This article first appeared on ‘CIO’ on 18 June 2014.

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