Head to Health relaunches providing better recommendations for those seeking mental health support

The fully re-launched Head to Health website in Australia aims to provide information, support, and personalized resources for individuals struggling with mental health, offering a variety of tools, services, and recommendations based on a user’s quiz answers and needs.

So, I remember when the first Head to Health website launched. It was an ambitious effort to provide a portal to digital mental health content. The site had its problems, but I remember at the time thinking that it was a pretty impressive effort, given the very fragmented nature of how mental health services and supports are delivered in Australia.

The new version of the site is now fully launched and looks easier to navigate than the previous one. I think also the imagery they’re using is better. The previous site had a bit of a cartoonish vibe to it, which I personally liked, but I could imagine some people finding childish.

So what is Head to Health?

The website is a collaboration between The Department of Health and Aged Care, the community, and the mental health sector.

In short, the website provides information and support for people who need mental health help. It keeps its old mission of connecting people to tools, websites, apps, articles, information, services and more. It does this in a few ways. You can search by keyword. You can complete their Quiz. You can browse articles. You can even call their 1800 595 212 mental health and advice line or visit a Head to Health centre (the one in Adelaide is here). 24/7 crisis services are also provided. 

I tried the Quiz method, drawing on some recent things I had been struggling with. The Quiz contained questions about my age, goals, specific symptoms, identity groups, illness status, living situation and income. It then provided a catalogue of resources that it thought matched my quiz answers. I was able to download the recommendations as a PDF.  I’ve attached it (minus my specific quiz answers) so you can get a feel for the types of recommendations it makes.

I was pleasantly surprised at the diversity of recommendations it made. It provided services, things to read, wellbeing app recommendations, communities I could join, online treatments, services I could talk to, and webchat/email/SMS services. I can imagine someone who is struggling might find it hard to pick from the options given, but they can also take their download to a GP appointment and use as a discussion point. The full download includes your answers to the quiz questions, so would be a good way to start a conversation with a health professional.

How might you use this?

A characteristic of the mental health system in Australia is that there are lots of great websites, apps, online services & programs, but finding the right one for you is a bit of a nightmare.

A few groups are trying to catalogue what is available. For example, eMHprac have a great digital mental health resources library.

Head to Health is doing something similar, with the addition of physical centres and more focused personalisation tools (e.g. the Quiz).

It means, with a little effort and time, you can use the site to find tools that are better targeted to what you are currently struggling with.

The site is mental health focused, so is going to be most useful for those who are struggling with some aspect of mental health and have goals relating to: wellbeing, specific mental health conditions, emotions, mood, stress, worry, sleep, self-concept, harmful habits (e.g. addiction), relationships and social connections.

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