New research shows huge increase in New Zealanders using digital mental health services during Covid
New research has been published by Just a Thought and Australian digital health service This Way UP comparing the uptake of their online tools during Covid last year.
An entity of the Wise Group, Just a Thought's online wellbeing course, Staying on Track, was used to help New Zealanders through Covid. It continues to be one of their proudest achievements. The online service is currently reaching up to 30,000 registrations per month, less than two years since the launch.
Just a Thought wanted to explore how New Zealanders used their service through Covid, and undertook a piece of research with This Way UP in Australia (the digital service Just a Thought is based on). The research compared engagement by healthcare workers and members of the public over two three-month periods pre-Covid, and during the first three months of Covid (March-June 2020).
The major findings below overwhelmingly showed investment in digital wellbeing services during Covid paid off:
• 630% increase in website views (167,972)
• 185% increase in course registrations (5442)
• 144% increase in healthcare worker registering (441)
• 65% increase in healthcare-worker prescribed courses (794)
Chair of NZHIT's eMental Health Industry Group (eMHIG) and Just a Thought's Clinical Lead Anna Elders says "I know these results will be mirrored within the uptake data of the many other wonderful digital tools and services that contributed to our collective efforts to support New Zealanders during Covid.
"We are only beginning to move towards realising the potential digital health services provide in greatly increasing access to mental health support and evidence-based treatments, delivering preventative support, and community-led innovation.
It is essential we collaborate to evolve a bold strategic vision, that supports investment and keeps our most valuable resource front and centre – our people."
Anna says she hopes Just a Thought will continue to contribute in this shared journey.
"We recognise the remarkable mahi of our frontline healthcare workers, who are pioneering the use of digital tools along with face-to-face (or virtual) care and we hope digital tools will continue to grow and be recognised as a key service for early intervention and support in mental health and addiction services."