Mental Health Service Goes Mobile Friendly
1 March 2013 at 9:30 am
Young people can now use their smartphones and tablet devices to access an online mental health services staffed by qualified clinicians.
Said to be an Australian first, the mobile-friendly ‘eheadspace’ website has been developed by mental health charity headspace.
Headspace says that the website will make it easier for teenagers and young adults to get support when and where they need it for issues such as bullying, depression, anxiety and relationship breakups.
According to headspace, the website was established 18 months ago and has seen rapid growth in that time, with around 18,000 young people now registered for the service, which offers free support to 12-25 year olds via instant messaging, email and over the telephone.
Headspace Chief Executive Chris Tanti said the development of the mobile site recognised that an increasing number of young people were accessing the online world through their mobile devices.
“The most recent figures show that more than three quarters of 18-25 year olds now access the Internet via their mobile devices and a third surf the web on an iPad or other tablet,” Tanti said.
“These numbers will only go up. headspace understands these trends and we are improving our services to ensure that we are supporting young people via the channels they are using.”
Headspace says that the new website not only allows young people to receive support via their iPhone, iPad or Android device, but also includes a range of other innovations, including:
- A virtual waiting room with YouTube videos and reading material to entertain and inform young people while they wait for their appointment
- A “My Account” page for each registered user, allowing them to manage their settings and review past eheadspace sessions
- Responsive web design that fits eheadspace to the screen of any device, even those that haven’t been released yet
- Emoticons to help young people express how they are feeling
- Vastly improved accessibility for young people with disabilities
Tanti said the eheadspace innovations would be especially significant for young people living outside capital cities who don’t have immediate access to in person mental health services.
“Our network of centres is growing rapidly but even with this growth there are still young Australians who live too far from a centre to get regular assistance,” Tanti said.