Can an app help people with anxiety?

13 Jul 2016

It may sound strange, but an innovative new app is helping patients deal with anxiety and depression.

Based on the effective Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) model, the 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% report no longer being troubled by depression or anxiety.

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.

In line with St Vincent’s mission to provide equitable health care for all, these app-based treatments are designed to assist patients in areas where it can be difficult to access support and care.

“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”.

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.

About This Way Up

This Way Up is a non-for-profit initiative of St Vincent’s Hospital and UNSW that 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 8000 people reduce their symptoms of anxiety and depression.

For more information please visit www.thiswayup.org.au

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.