There is a large body of research showing that psychological treatment can be effectively delivered via the internet, and Digital Mental Health Services (DMHS) are now delivering those interventions in routine care. However, not all attempts to translate these research outcomes into routine care have been successful. This paper draws on the experience of successful DMHS in Australia and Canada to describe ten lessons learned while establishing and delivering internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy (ICBT) and other mental health services as part of routine care. These lessons include learnings at four levels of analysis, including lessons learned working with (1) consumers, (2) therapists, (3) when operating DMHS, and (4) working within healthcare systems. Key themes include recognising that DMHS should provide not only treatment but also information and assessment services, that DMHS require robust systems for training and supervising therapists, that specialist skills are required to operate DMHS, and that the outcome data from DMHS can inform future mental health policy. We also confirm that operating such clinics is particularly challenging in the evolving funding, policy, and regulatory context, as well as increasing expectations from consumers about DMHS. Notwithstanding the difficulties of delivering DMHS, we conclude that the benefits of such services for the broader community significantly outweigh the challenges.
Bibliographical noteCopyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.
- internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy
- psychological treatment
- routine care
- anxiety disorders