Mental illness is a national health priority. One in five Australians experience a mental illness every year and depression is the leading cause of disability in the nation. However, the majority of Australians with a mental disorder do not seek help for their problems. There are a number of barriers to help seeking for mental illness. These include stigma, a preference for self-reliance and a lack of access to services. In addition, those who do receive help are often left without support during the recovery period. One means of addressing these barriers is to deliver online self-help programs to prevent and treat mental illness, and to provide support to those recovering from it.
The Centre for Mental Health Research pioneered the development and evaluation of effective online self-help methods for tackling depression and anxiety. Current work includes e-programs designed to increase help seeking, and the evaluation of online mental health treatment programs.