Call for more online psych services

GREATER investment in online psychological treatments could prove a novel way for the Federal Government to meet growing demand for mental health services without incurring major budget blowouts, psychologists have argued.

Ahead of the May federal Budget, Professor David ­Kavanagh, chair of the Australian Psychological Society’s telephone and Internet counselling group, said psychologists providing online services were “stumbling from short-term funding to short-term funding”.
 Online psychological services should be recognised as part of the service mix, and should receive guaranteed, long-term funding accordingly, he said.

“We can see that these are remarkably effective programs and in many cases are getting the same benefits as you get for face-to-face treatment, at a fraction of the cost,” he said.

Professor Kavanagh declined to say how much more was needed, maintaining only that funding must be long