New apps help ease the mental burden for rural Australians

Media release

23 March 2016

This Way Up, an online mental health service of St Vincent’s Hospital and UNSW, offers hope to rural Australians experiencing anxiety and depression. This Way Up have recently developed a suite of smartphone applications, giving the majority of Australians portable access to proven and effective anxiety and depression treatments.

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Based on the effective Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) model, the Apple iOS and Android apps provide users with illustrated lessons, progress trackers, self-led learning, and additional resources that can be completed in their own time. For those who finish a course, 80% show significant improvement, of which, 50% to the point of no longer being troubled by depression or anxiety.

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For the 33% of the population who are currently living in regional or remote parts of Australia, access to good mental health care can be difficult and costly. As a consequence, rural and remote Australians often experience worse mental health outcomes than those living in the major cities.

“There is a growing need for mental health education and treatment in all sectors of Australian society, but especially so in rural areas”, says Professor Gavin Andrews, director and creator of This Way Up. “One of the great benefits of our courses is that they can be undertaken by anyone with internet access, including those in remote locations”.

 

There is a growing need for mental health education and treatment in all sectors of Australian society, but especially so in rural areas”, says Professor Gavin Andrews, director and creator of This Way Up. “One of the great benefits of our courses is that they can be undertaken by anyone with internet access, including those in remote locations

UNSW Professor Gavin Andrews, This Way Up

 

Due to increasing research and technological expansion, internet delivered mental health programs are beginning to reduce the rising burden of mental health issues. 79% of those living in now have access to the internet, and are more likely than those in capital cities to only access the internet on their This makes app-based and web-based programs an increasingly viable alternative to face-to-face care.

Due to increasing research and technological expansion, internet delivered mental health programs are beginning to reduce the rising burden of mental health issues. 79% of those living in remote or very remote parts of Australia now have access to the internet, and are more likely than those in capital cities to only access the internet on their mobile phones. This makes app-based and web-based programs an increasingly viable alternative to face-to-face care.

Visit www.thiswayup.org.au for more information. You can now download the apps on Apple iOS for depression, generalised anxiety and mixed anxiety and depression. To download the apps on Android you can head to the Google Play store here.

Hi-res images of the This Way Up app are available on request. Professor Gavin Andrews and This Way Up researchers are available for interviews.

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About This Way Up

This Way Up, a non-for-profit initiative based at UNSW at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, provides a range of online programs for anxiety and depression. These programs have been extensively researched, tested, and proven to work in over 26 studies and real world settings. Over the last 7 years, This Way Up programs have helped over 8,000 people reduce their symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Media contacts

Nikki Potent, Public Affairs & Communications
(02) 8382 2132