eCliPSE project to uncover barriers to digital mental health services

Thursday, 8 September 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased rates of depression and anxiety in Australia by 24-28 per cent, placing significant resource pressures on its health systems.

Digital tools can rapidly extend the capability of mental health services but are not widely used to connect to the almost 10 million Australians experiencing a mental disorder.

A team of researchers from the University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) has been awarded $735,000 by the Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation to try to increase access to digital mental health care.

The eCliPSE Project aims to enhance social inclusion through the implementation of evidence-based digital mental health interventions in the wake of the pandemic.

Lead researcher Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin said this project would aim to identify the social determinants of health that impact people’s ability to access digital treatment for anxiety, depression and alcohol or substance use. It will also develop a tailored implementation model to address issues of social exclusion in the translation and uptake of digital health interventions for these populations.

Funding from the Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation will see this new model of care implemented across NSW, integrating pathways to mental health and addictive services across the public and private system.

“Now, more than ever, we need an integrated seamless, and accessible mental health care system,” Professor Kay-Lambkin said. “Technology, like eCliPSe, can rapidly achieve this when embedded in services that can react quickly when needed. We are extremely excited about what this new project can provide for the people of NSW needing help with their mental health.”

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