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Aust J Gen Pract. 2018 Apr;47(4):168-172.

e-Therapy in primary care mental health

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MBBS MPsychMed, General Practice Services Consultant, Black Dog Institute, Randwick, NSW.
PhD, Research Fellow, Black Dog Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW.



The Australian Government's Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan recommends a stepped care model of mental healthcare that focuses on matching the intensity of care to the severity of illness. General practitioners (GPs) need to learn more about low-intensity online interventions to better meet the needs of patients of lower severity.


This article provides GPs with information about low-intensity, evidence-based online resources developed in Australia and available for integration into the care of patients with mild-to-moderate mental health conditions. This article has an emphasis on new developments since 2015.


The internet provides an opportunity to deliver effective mental health treatment to people who would otherwise not seek, or be able to reach, skilled help for their mental health conditions. High-quality, evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy treatment programs are available to all Australians, at no or low cost. These options can be integrated into a stepped care model of mental healthcare, and provide GPs with an opportunity to help patients access treatment that suits their needs.

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