e-hub programs provide users with anonymous access to evidence-based information and self-help for mental health and wellbeing. Thanks to funding by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, e-hub programs are available free of charge to all Australians, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
moodgym is a highly structured program that integrates mental health literacy, assessments, self-help strategies, and exercises in five modules. Users of moodgym work through the program in a set linear sequence and are required to complete some quizzes in each module in order to continue. At the end of each module, there is a content summary and a graph showing the scores on each symptom quiz. The program records and displays scores each time a quiz is completed and so the user can track their progress over the program.
moodgym primarily provides cognitive behaviour therapy skills for depression and also offers activity scheduling, relaxation therapy, and a simple problem solving technique. Although it was designed to focus on depressive symptoms, the interventions have been shown to be effective in preventing and reducing anxiety symptoms as well (see moodgym research evidence).
Pros and Cons
Some users enjoy the structured learning environment of moodgym and the rapid introduction of cognitive self-help strategies. Other users may prefer to freely choose between different types of self-help skills and between modules designed for a wider range of specific symptoms. For these users, e-couch may be more suitable as it allows people to choose between a wider range of self-help options and provides initial psycho-educational material to help them make informed choices between the options.
e-couch is a dynamic, open-ended program that currently provides five discrete sub-programs – Depression, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety, Divorce/ relationship breakdown and Grief/ loss. Each subprogram begins with an 'armchair' which provides information about the area of concern and an overview of the evidence base for key interventions. When the user has worked through the armchair, they progress to the 'couch' in which they can choose amongst the self-help toolkits tailored to these five conditions/situations.
Users of e-couch are required to complete some quizzes after registration and this data is used to suggest a specific program to the user (for example, the depression program will be suggested to those with high depression scores), but people can freely choose which programs to work with. There are also quizzes during/after the 'armchair' section. With the exception of the Divorce and Social Anxiety programs, users are able to access the toolkits in any order that they wish. A 'Congratulations!' page appears once the user has accessed all the toolkits in a program; otherwise, e-couch has no obvious 'completion' point.
e-couch provides mental health literacy and interventions tailored for depression, generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety, divorce and relationship breakdown, and grief and loss. e-couch interventions include cognitive behaviour therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, problem solving, physical activity, relaxation therapy, exposure therapy, attention practice, social skills training, and anger management.
Pros and Cons
Some people enjoy the greater diversity of material within e-couch and the freedom of movement within e-couch that allows them to choose the program and toolkits that they would like to access. moodgym might be preferred by people who prefer a more structured, linear approach that moves immediately into interventions.
The new e-couch for Social Anxiety is an updated version of the existing e-couch social anxiety modules. The new program is user friendly and has been designed to work with devices with different sized screens. Over the coming months the other e-couch modules will also be updated to the new format.
You can access e-couch for Social Anxiety at ecouch.com.au.
moodgym was originally designed as a prevention program for young people between 15 to 25 years of age. moodgym characters and scenarios reflect this initial design, so some of the examples may be more relevant to young people than to older age groups. However, the moodgym program has been found to be effective in reducing symptoms of depression in adults (see Research evidence).
e-couch was designed for a broader age demographic and the characters and scenarios are designed to relate more generally to a range of adult users.
"I wouldn't recommend a self-help book without reading it myself, but I don't have a great deal of time to work through the programs. How can I quickly scan through the programs?"
Printable brochures that briefly summarise the interventions provided by them are available for download on the Resources page. More detailed information is available in the moodgym Clinician's Manual. See Resources for more information.
You can also register with the programs and sample the content.
e-hub Health takes the storage of data very seriously. Any information collected from users is stored in a secure and professionally managed environment, and we take active steps to ensure the ongoing security of that data. e-hub Health will not use or disclose any personal information without consent unless required to do so by law.
Visitors to the BluePages site are not required to register and thus are not identified.
moodgym and e-couch
These e-hub programs require registration and users are encouraged to help protect their own privacy by choosing non-identifiable usernames, and to avoid providing identifying information to these sites.
The programs require an email address to provide a confirmation of your registration, but you can set up an email address that does not contain your name or other identifying or locating information such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Users should also ensure the security of their own computer, such as avoiding saving passwords in the browser and keeping their anti-virus software up-to-date.
If you are supporting a person as they work through moodgym or e-couch, the person can print out copies of their questionnaires and responses to exercises to discuss them with you.
There is no charge for Australians to use e-hub programs. The Commonwealth Department for Health has funded the programs for use by all Australians.
All of e-hub programs provide information about crisis and emergency services.
moodgym and e-couch provide information about different types of help and encourage users to seek other help – especially if, for example, the user indicates that their symptoms are severe.
BluePages provides detailed information about treatments for depression and maintains state and national service directories.
You can also find information about other services here.
BluePages, moodgym and e-couch incorporate a range of surveys, however, the main symptom measures are the Goldberg Anxiety and Depression Questionnaires. These surveys have 9 items and are answered yes/no. The programs provide the user with feedback about the number of symptoms they are experiencing compared to others of their age group and gender.
In moodgym, users complete the surveys at the end of each module. e-couch users are required to complete the surveys each time they login, and at the end of each mental health literacy armchair section. In BluePages the depression and anxiety symptom surveys are completely optional.
The information provided throughout e-hub programs is intended for information and skill development purposes only and is not a substitute for seeking diagnosis and treatment from a qualified person. Always consult a medical practitioner or mental health professional if you require a diagnosis or treatment for depression, anxiety or other mental disorders.
Persons under age 16 with depressive symptoms should speak to their parents about seeking professional help for their depression.
Yes, you are welcome to promote and link to the e-hub programs.
Please submit your request for consideration by the BluePages team. If you are a professional, please ensure that your website displays emergency contact information and provides users with a statement about your professional registration/ affiliations and ways for users to check these (for example, provide a link to the online search facility of the relevant registration body for your profession).