New approach to mental health
Wimmera residents will have a new way to monitor their mental health after the launch of a digital health program.
The Monitorme program is the result of a partnership between Uniting Wimmera and Federation University.
It uses details participants provide about themselves, keeping track of mood and daily lifestyle, to offer information and guidance when they experience signs of stress, anxiety or low mood.
Uniting Wimmera is encouraging people participating in its services to trial the program as part of a research project in collaboration with Federation University.
The project will investigate whether participants can improve their mental health and reduce stress using a digital program.
If the project is successful Uniting plans to make it available to more people in the region.
Uniting Wimmera acting chief executive Josh Koenig said Monitorme could augment existing mental health services and provide interim support to people unable to access them due to distance, wait lists or anxiety.
“One of the major challenges we face in supporting our community is access to funding for traditional, early intervention mental health services,” he said.
“With the roll-out of the NDIS, many Wimmera people are either not getting approved for a plan or don’t have the required funding to pay for the services they need.”
Federation University professor Britt Klein helped develop the program for the past two years and said digital health was a growing field.
“Digital health is an important instrument in the toolkit of health care professionals and is particularly important in improving accessibility to timely health information for people living in rural areas,” she said.
“This trial goes further than our previous research, in that it is investigating whether people who are already receiving support from a community service worker or organisation will benefit from participating in Monitorme alongside that support.
“Monitorme empowers people with the information and tools they need to better manage their mental health.”
More information about Monitorme and the trial is available by visiting website uniting wimmera.org.au or calling 1800 195 114.
Participants must be over the age of 18 and must sign up before Wednesday, February 28 to be part of the trial.