Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > DHA News > DHA Media Releases > Digital mental health services could help thousands of Kiwis

Digital mental health services could help thousands of Kiwis

The Digital Health Association is urging the new government to invest in a national ‘digital mental health hub’ to vastly improve New Zealanders’ access to mental health services.

The hub would offer services ranging from electronic self-assessment and help tools, to providing virtual support to mental health outpatients and inpatients referred from a GP, and who are on their recovery journey.

It would bring together a network of trained professionals and a range of virtual tools to help assess and treat mild to moderate mental health disorders.

Association chief executive, Ryl Jensen, says the digital hub would complement traditional counselling services.

“It won’t replace face-to-face services, but it will add another valuable option for people who can’t access a counsellor in-person, or who prefer to get help virtually.”

The Association says the digital hub would alleviate pressure on a very short-staffed public mental health and counselling workforce.

It is urging the new government to immediately audit existing digital mental health platforms and apps and create a one-stop-shop website outlining all the different mental health online services.  The Association envisages this to be similar to Australia’s Head to Health platform.

Jensen also wants a responsive, digitally-enabled mental health, addiction and wellbeing service model, including the digital mental health hub employing a dedicated remote team.

This would contain a call centre, triaging and a virtual appointments system, all providing access to various mental health services via remote patient technologies.

Among other recommendations, the Digital Health Association is calling for the co-design of a ‘digital mental health highway’ to connect individuals, whānau and practitioners with available health information.

“New Zealand’s suicide rates make for grim reading,” Jensen said.

Suicide amongst New Zealand’s young people is more than twice the average among the OECD. Youth suicide rates among Māori and Pacific Island communities are nearly twice that of non-Māori.

“Add in the fact we have a massive mental health workforce shortage, which can mean long waiting lists, it’s pretty obvious we need to do something differently.

“A digital mental health hub would be a game-changer, helping potentially thousands of Kiwis to live better and more emotionally-balanced lives.”

For more information contact Daniel Paul (021) 400993

Similar stories

Share your news!


Copyright © 2023
Digital Health Association
NZ Incorporated

This website is powered by