Online resources can offer you a first taste of the types of skills and strategies that counsellors can help you develop. They can be all that you need in some instances or great building blocks for the skills you could build with a professional. Have a look through some of the brief descriptions below and you might find something that can assist you today.
Online Counselling & Forums
Australia has great mental health services and resources, but it can be tough finding the ones that suit you best. The Head to Health website makes your search easier by hand-picking resources from publicly funded providers.
Not only can you find websites with solid information and advice, but you can also use apps and programs to build skills and track progress, share stories in online forums, and get confidential support through phone, email, and chat services.
BeyongBlue offers a wide range of tools and programs. You can get tip sheets, access new research, access programs, links to other useful websites as well as being able to chat with a counsellor online or join a community forum. The Online Counsellor Chat programs runs from 3pm-12am. To access this service you need to do answer some pre-chat questions, accept the chat rules, click on the chat icon and wait for the next available counsellor. Alternatively if you want to ask your peers or check what other people are asking and saying you can join one of the many online forums available.
Lifeline offer an online chat service available from 7pm- 4am, 7 days a week. It is a short term support for people not an ongoing arrangement. You will need to complete a short pre-chat question set and then agree to the terms and conditions before chatting with a counsellor. If the chat option is offline or busy then you have the option of calling the telephone line also.
The Mindspot Clinic offers information, assessment and treatment programs for people experiencing depression and anxiety. It is an online forum where you complete an assessment, receive feedback on your results from a clinic therapist and are either invited to complete one of the 8 week online programs or provided with a referral to appropriate services. There are 4 programs on offer,
- Wellbeing (worry, stress, anxiety and low mood for 18-64 yr olds)
- Wellbeing Plus (For those over 60 yrs)
- OCD (For those experiencing distressing obsessions and compulsions)
- PTSD (For those trying to recover from a trauma and build confidence)
All the programs look at thoughts, physical and behavioural symptoms and how to stay well. They involve reading, practicing practical skills, real life examples and the clinician checks in with you weekly.
Online Tools & Programs
UON eCliPSE is a free site available to all students at UON that can help students to access clinically proven online programs to tackle issues such as depression, anxiety and drug and alcohol use.
The eCentreClinic is an initiative of Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. They develop and evaluate free online treatment Courses for people with symptoms of worry (GAD), panic, social anxiety (Social Phobia), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stress, depression, low mood and other health conditions including chronic pain. The programs run at different times over the course of the year and there is a variety of programs that would appeal to students. If the course you are interested in isn’t available at that time you can also register your interest in it and get notified when it comes online. The eCentreClinic is currently offering a course on Arabic wellbeing and is interested in developing culturally sensitive and specific courses for students and individuals of different cultures within Australia.
The Desk is a online tool designed specifically for university students. It provides a range of tools and strategies to help you succeed as a student. The tools look at practical strategies for managing the workload and setting goals and priorities as well as strategies to manage your thoughts and emotions through the student journey. I reviewed The Desk in semester 1 of 2015 if you are interested in finding out more about it click here.
A great opportunity to learn more about the benefits of mindfulness and how to practice. This course is offered through Monash University, is free and is online starting September 14th 2015. Learn mindfulness techniques to reduce stress and improve your wellbeing and work/study performance. If you need a certificate of completion for your CV or professional development then you can purchase one for a small price.
This page contains a number of self help modules across a range of different areas to allow people to get either a head start on strategies before they see a professional or if they don’t feel ready to see someone yet. They are also helpful to use during therapy.
The Anxiety Home Toolkit is exactly what it sounds like. The page has a number of different strategies and exercises that you can do in your own time from the comofrt of your own home to help reduce your symptoms of anxiety and stress.
This way up offers a number of different courses including one on depression, anxiety, combined depression and anxiety, social phobia, panic disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Stress Management. If your GP or psychologist refers you then you can be linked with them and they can provide you with feedback but if you want to give it a go independently the results can be just as effective. If you want to give this a go and would like support with it, I’d be happy to be linked with you and provide support via e-mails or Skype.