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Mental health program getting people back on track

Photo: Mental health program getting people back on track
Results from a new Australian intervention have shown encouraging results for people with a history of hospital admission for anxiety and depression.

Published in BMC Psychiatry, a study examined the first 17 months of implementation of the MindStepTM program, which is primarily delivered to people with private health insurance by Remedy Healthcare in Australia.

The study found that that low intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) delivered by Remedy achieved target recovery rates of greater than 50 percent and a reliable recovery rate of over 60 percent.

Remedy Healthcare Executive General Manager Mike Hutton-Squire said the findings were encouraging for people with depression and anxiety, their friends and families, and their employers and work colleagues.

“We believe it is significant when you consider that every year about one million Australians suffer from depression and more than two million experience anxiety,” Mr Hutton-Squire said.
“In the workplace, the flow-on effects of such high rates of mental ill health can include absenteeism, productivity loss and increased staff turnover. With MindStep, we have a program that can help people stay out of hospital and get back to work.”

Remedy Healthcare’s Chief Medical Officer Nancy Huang said these results suggest that low intensity CBT can be successfully delivered to people with a history of hospital admissions for anxiety and depressive disorders and substantially support people in returning to their usual activities.

Mr Hutton-Squire said that a telephone-based program such as MindStep had distinct advantages for a country with the geographical size and population spread of Australia.

“Many of our rural and remote communities are underserved by the healthcare system and have poorer health outcomes as a consequence of our geography,” Mr Hutton-Squire said.

“A program such as MindStep can help ensure that people with mental ill health have the opportunity to get their life back on track, no matter where they live.”

MindStep, which commenced across Australia in March 2016, aims to improve post-hospital care and to help empower patients, giving them the tools for ongoing self-management and to help improve their quality of life.

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