Minister Dutton said the SANE Australia Online Forums would help people living with mental illness 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,” he said. “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.”
The two forums – one for people living with mental illness and one for carers, family and friends – were developed by SANE Australia with funding from the federal Department of Health and will provide nationwide online peer-to-peer support services.
“Today, the Internet is a major source of health and medical information,” said Minister Dutton. “International and Australian research has demonstrated that online therapy can be just as effective for people with anxiety and depression as face-to-face therapy.”
To access the SANE online forums, please see www.saneforums.org