Four ways to find mental health help online
Last week, Instagram announced a new feature that gives users in the US and the UK the ability to anonymously flag posts that might be calls for help from people about issues including suicidal thoughts and eating disorders.
This a proactive move from the social media platform, that comes just months after a study posted on the public online repository, arXiv.org, reported that a computer algorithm had accurately predicted whether or not Instagram users were depressed, based on their photos.
The new feature is not available in Australia yet, but there a lot of other ways to find help for you or your loved ones online. Here’s four ways you can find mental health support online:
1. Chat to someone online
You can access support through Lifeline live chat from 7 pm to 4 am, seven days a week.
eheadspace provides online support and counselling to young people aged 12 to 25 and their families and friends. You can chat to someone online individually or in a group.
2. Find a service
The WayAhead Directory is a free, online database run by WayAhead, the Mental Health Association of NSW. It contains up to date information on over 5000 mental health related services across NSW.
3. Remember a loved one lost to suicide
The online Wesley LifeForce Memorial Wall is a place to reflect and remember those lost to suicide. To share your message on the Wesley LifeForce Memorial Wall please email us.
4. Download apps that improve your daily mental health
There are thousands apps to help with you everything from meditation and breathing techniques to providing strategies for building resilience against negative thoughts and behaviours. A few to try include:
Moodnotes uses the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help you identify and tackle negative thinking patterns that lead to negative behavioural patterns.
Meditation apps like Smiling Mind help you take a break from busy urban life to concentrate on breathing and relaxing, no matter where you might be: walking, commuting, or even at the gym.
SuperBetter is an app that helps you build up resilience to difficult or challenging situations by setting daily challenges and tracking your progress.