Digital mental health and employment - Lessons from the Australian experience

The EMPOWER Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and objectives: This paper reviews Australia's take-up of digital mental health interventions, including some specific reference to their application in relation to employment. Use of these interventions in Australia was already significant. Under COVID-19 they have exploded. The Australian experience offers useful lessons for European and other countries, and these are summarised. Methods: This paper presents a narrative review of key texts, resources, policies and reports, from government and other sources. It also presents data reflecting the take-up of digital mental health services and the employment of people with a mental illness in Australia. Results: We present data showing the explosion in uptake of digital mental health services. There is very limited evidence about the impact of these services in improving employment outcomes for people with a mental illness in Australia. The Government has moved to make them a permanent feature of mental health care, in addition to traditional face-to-face care. Conclusion: Key lessons emerge from the Australian experience, including the need for target clarity; the importance of blending digital services into broader frameworks of mental health care; the need for quality and safety standards to be developed and applied to digital services; and the need for better evaluation of the outcomes of digital interventions in the workplace. The digital mental health genie is out of the bottle. New capacity for evaluation of the outcomes of digital mental health services is vital to ensure value and quality of such investments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychiatry
Volume37
Issue number1
Early online date27 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023

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