Dr Lou Farrer, from the ANU Centre for Mental Health Research, part of the ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, trialled the effectiveness of online programs MoodGYM and BluePages with users of Lifeline’s telephone crisis line. She found that the online programs had a positive influence across a range of problems – not just depression.
“In addition to reducing depression symptoms, we found that the online programs were effective in reducing hazardous alcohol use in Lifeline callers. There was a significant drop in alcohol use among those who used MoodGYM and BluePages,” she said.
“The results also showed that people who used the online programs had a marked increase in their quality of life, as measured by a scale that assessed satisfaction with different areas of daily living.
“We also found that after treatment, people’s knowledge of depression increased. This is essential to enable people to be able to better understand and recognise the signs and symptoms of future depressive episodes.”