Choi Chung, RPh, BScPharm
Mental health diagnoses are becoming more prevalent than ever before. Unfortunately, trying to afford or even access mental health services has never been so difficult.
Recently, there’s been some new studies investigating online mental health service platforms such as MoodGYM®, and the results are quite interesting.
What is MoodGYM®?
MoodGYM® is just one of the many available online platforms that offer mental health services such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It’s an interactive online program that allows people to “prevent and manage symptoms of depression and anxiety” by teaching people skills based on the principles of CBT. This way, anyone can access these services anywhere and at anytime!
Is MoodGYM® Effective?
Recently, there’s been some studies released that looked at whether or not “computerized CBT” programs such as MoodGYM® are effective for managing symptoms of “depression, anxiety, stress and impaired daily function”.2
One study that was published looked at MoodGYM® and the effect it had on 149 public mental health service users. Unfortunately, given the high dropout rates, a proper assessment couldn’t be conducted. However, the researchers did conclude that although it shouldn’t be considered as a “first choice” for treating mental health conditions, many people would be agreeable to the service given the ease of use.2 Researchers also found that MoodGYM® is both a reasonable and potentially beneficial option for those who can’t access face-to-face therapy, or those waiting to access these services.2
Another study that looked at the results of 11 different research trials found that MoodGYM® is effective at reducing depression and anxiety, and can help with general psychological distress. We did note that the findings of this study should be taken in context given some external factors that could have influenced the results.
The goal of these platforms is quite simple: to take advantage of the overall increase in the number of people with cellphones and computers to increase accessibility to these services. These programs allow anyone to access mental services from anywhere at any given time.
Though there’s a limited number of studies out there to allow us to really understand how effective these services can be, there’s very little risk involved with trying it out! It certainly beats the all too common alternative of waiting around for our mental health battles to resolve themselves.
Just remember, mental health is something we all struggle with in some way, shape or form – whether it’s general anxiety or depression or struggling with our self-confidence. You should never feel ashamed to reach out for support or to loved ones to share your battles. Most of the time, we really do surprise ourselves with how much support we receive back when we muster the courage to do so.
We hope you took away something valuable from this piece. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this article or others, feel free to reach out to us on Instagram, Facebook, or at email@example.com with your feedback. We’d love to hear from you.
- Effectiveness of a freely available computerised cognitive behavioural therapy programme (MoodGYM) for depression: Meta-analysis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23795621
- A randomized controlled trial of the computerized CBT programme, MoodGYM, for public mental health service users waiting for interventions – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24831119