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Picking brains for mental health

Plan for online resources in mental health surveys practitioners. 

An internet survey will help researchers evaluate how health professionals use online mental health resources.

The survey is a part of the eMHPrac project, which is funded by the Australian Government and aims to encourage the use of e-mental health resources in primary care. It involves developing training and promotional initiatives.

As its part of eMHPRac, the Australian National University will work with primary care allied health practitioners and nurses. ANU is hoping to connect with as many of these professionals as possible and ensure the project’s resources are widely known.

The survey is the first part of the project. It explores the views of a wide range of primary care professionals, including psychologists, social workers, practice nurses, mental health nurses, counsellors, occupational therapists, community health workers, peer support and other allied health workers.

The training components of eMHPRac are being designed to be suitable for ongoing professional development points. Training will include face-to-face workshops, online training modules, webinars and an online discussion group.

Julia Reynolds, e-hub clinical services manager at ANU’s centre for mental health research, said the surveys will reveal how health professionals are using the resource in their line of work and their views on e-mental health. It will also allow ANU to develop the most appropriate training programs in the favoured formats.

“It’s really important for us to understand where practitioners are at the moment in terms of their awareness and how they feel about potentially being able to use some of these high quality resources,” Reynolds said. “It will help inform us in terms of making sure that we develop training and promotion that would be most suitable for them.”

This is the first of three annual surveys. The others are planned for 2015 and 2016.

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