Internet 'can help fight depression'

Dr Suvena Sethi of the University of Sydney and his colleagues have found that interactive online mental health resources and traditional counselling can help improve the mental wellbeing of teenagers.

The study assessed the effectiveness of online mental health resources (static and interactive), including tools used to assist rural and remote young people suffering from mild-to-moderate depression.

The study, titled 'Internet Self-Help for Depression', focused on evaluating current online mental health resources to demonstrate their effectiveness as both stand-alone tools and tools used in conjunction with traditional therapy.

"Each of these innovative online approaches to the prevention and management of mild to moderate depression are in use globally.

"However, the independent and combined effectiveness of online mental health help tools being accessed by adolescents with education websites or online support groups had not been investigated in combination with face-to-face cognitive behavioural therapy.

"As such, our research concluded that for adolescents, the best form of depression treatment is a combination of online self-help tools used in conjunction with offline counselling," team member Dr Andrew Campbell said.

The findings have been published in the 'Journal of Technology in Human Services'.

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