AIMS AND METHOD: Reaching into the community to treat people with anxiety and depressive disorders raises the spectre of wrongful use of scarce resources at best, and of disease mongering at worst. We recruited for an internet-based treatment for social phobia. RESULTS: Applications were received from 789 people, and 205 were rejected because of severe depression or suicidal thoughts. Many were excluded because they had another disorder or were in treatment. Some dropped out, only 7 were subthreshold cases and 291 people with social phobia were treated. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Despite easy access to clinicians, the burden of untreated serious mental disorder in the community remains considerable.