‘Some get worse’: The evidence for and against digital tools to reduce psychological distress

In this year’s budget, the federal government announced one of the biggest changes to the mental health system in nearly two decades: a digital early intervention service to relieve Australians’ early psychological distress before it builds into mental illness.

Starting in 2026, and based on the UK’s Talking Therapies model, the service is expected to offer a combination of apps, websites and free telehealth therapy sessions that deliver a type of cognitive behavioural therapy called “low-intensity psychological interventions”.