6 digital mental health services for members
Updated January 2023 | 5 min read
Words by Lucy E Cousins
Digital mental health services have been around for some time, but in the aftermath of COVID-19 and the pressure of the rising cost of living, they've become more popular than ever. These seven mental health programs are designed for the whole family and can be accessed online, wherever you may be.
It’s estimated that 8.6 million Aussies aged 16 to 85 have experienced a mental disorder at some time in their life, including depression and anxiety. Around 40% of those are aged between 16 and 24, with one study revealing almost half of all young women in Australia reported suffering from anxiety, depression or substance abuse disorder in 2020–21.
As a new year commences, studies have shown that rates of ‘post-holiday blues’ also increase, putting extra pressure on those already suffering from a mental health condition, and those who feel isolated, under pressure or financial stress at this time of year.
“Almost all of us will face stress, anxiety or depression at some point in our lives,” says Linda Opie, HCF’s Head of Health and Wellbeing. “And we know mental wellbeing is just as important as physical wellbeing.”
Seeking help and support for mental wellbeing can be challenging as some traditional in-person mental health support services have become more difficult to access due to demand, regional distances, and social stigma.
As a result, a growing number of professionally led and science-backed online mental health services have emerged and they’re gaining popularity.
The good news is that your mental health is part of our commitment to Uncommon Care. So, we’ve joined forces with seven digital health providers that provide mental health support to our members and their families in the comfort of their own home.
GP2U Telehealth Australia allows users to speak to a doctor over video or phone, giving access to information about mental or physical health without having to visit a clinic.
The doctors at GP2U can discuss your concerns and, if needed, issue prescriptions, sick notes and specialist referrals. They can also put together a mental healthcare plan tailored to your personal circumstances.
GP2U has a unique partnership with HCF – no other private health fund offers these resources to members.
Through our partnership with GP2U, all HCF members with health cover can access a standard online video GP consultation (up to 10 minutes) for a fee of $50.
If you prefer your own couch (and space) for psychology appointments, you can speak to a PSYCH2U expert about your concerns or symptoms. Their qualified psychiatrists and psychologists can help guide you to get the mental health support you need.
To help you get fast and easy access to support, we’re offering eligible HCF members a free telehealth HealthyMinds Check-in with a PSYCH2U psychologist^.
If you need additional support, eligible members may also have access to online video support and navigation to other mental health services as needed, through PSYCH2U+.
3. Calm Kid Central
When it comes to children, seeking trusted, expert mental health advice can be challenging. Fortunately, HCF members with hospital or extras cover have access to Calm Kid Central#, an online educational and support program to help kids aged four to 11 learn to act bravely and confidently, behave in positive ways, develop good friendships and manage tough life situations.
The program includes online courses, video lessons, activities and animations to help them understand and better manage their feelings. You also have confidential access to an experienced child psychologist, who can answer your questions within 48 hours.
How to get started: Email firstname.lastname@example.org to check if you’re eligible and apply to the program.
4. This Way Up
For those who prefer a self-help approach to online counselling, This Way Up** is a not-for-profit online hub offering a suite of interactive programs to help manage symptoms of a range of conditions like anxiety, depression and social anxiety. There are also coping and resilience resources, multilingual resources and self-led programs, including insomnia, stress management and peri- and postnatal mental health. For parents of teenagers, This Way Up offers a teen worry and sadness program as well.
How to get started: The programs are available free of charge when prescribed by a clinician. Your provider will register with This Way Up and refer you to an appropriate online program under their supervision. Alternatively, you can access the programs without a supervising clinician for $59 per program.
5. Hello Sunday Morning
Learn how to reset your drinking habits with Hello Sunday Morning’s Daybreak app**. This online behaviour change program gives you access to 24/7 digital support and allows you to connect anonymously with a like-minded online community of people trying to change their relationship with alcohol.
The Daybreak app is fully subsidised by the Australian Department of Health, which means all Aussies can access it for free.
When it comes to getting a good night's rest, often it can be hard to switch off and relax. Quality sleep is not only beneficial for our physical health, it can also help our mental health, so we’ve partnered with Sleepfit Solutions, who deliver an app that can help you identify sleep issues, recommend improvements and give you access to personalised tools.
Eligible members with hospital or extras cover^^ can get a 20% discount on a 12-month Sleepfit subscription, to help you improve sleep and overall wellbeing.
How to get started: Download the Sleepfit app on Apple's iOS app store or in the Google Play Store
If you or your child are struggling with depression or anxiety, and need to speak to someone now, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
How to deal with depression
Don’t deal with depression alone. There are many ways to lessen symptoms to live a happier, healthier life.
Symptoms of anxiety
Here are some of the more common symptoms of anxiety and how to lessen their impact.
How to manage stress
Reclaim calm with these expert-approved approaches to dealing with stress and anxiety.
Change your drink habits
Find yourself pouring a drink without giving it a moment’s thought? It might be time to knock that alcohol habit on the head.
+ Must have HCF gold level hospital cover for at least 2 months. Eligibility is based on clinical need as assessed by PSYCH2U.
^ 1 HealthyMinds Check-in available per member per calendar year. Service is available free to all members with hospital cover. Excludes extras only cover, Ambulance Only, Accident Only Basic and Overseas Visitors Health Cover.
# Excludes Accident Only Basic cover and Overseas Visitors Health Cover.
^^ Eligible HCF members with hospital or extras cover. Excludes Overseas Visitors Health Cover. The cost is $23.90 for 12 months for HCF members (RRP is $29.90).
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