On Thursday 12 September, we hosted the Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, the Minister of Health Hon Dr David Clark, and special guests, for the launch of a new online therapy tool, Just a Thought.
Developed by the Wise Group, Just a Thought offers free online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) courses to support the many and growing number of people across the country experiencing anxiety and depression.
Joint chief executive of the Wise Group, Jacqui Graham, paid tribute to the generosity of the late George Salmond, a foundation Wise Trust Board member who passed away earlier this year.
A big believer in the importance of mental health, George left a bequest to Just a Thought and his wife Clare and daughter Sarah were present at the launch.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern extended thanks to the Wise Group for making CBT freely available to the nation, also expressing her appreciation to the Salmond family for their generosity. George had, she said, left a legacy embedded in the tool that will help thousands of New Zealanders, “and that’s a wonderful thing”.
“I think this (Just a Thought) is going to change lives,” she concluded.
Free mental health support tool for all New Zealanders
With an estimated one in five New Zealanders experience significant mental health difficulties and demand growing for services and support, New Zealand’s mental health system is under extreme pressure.
Experienced CBT practitioner and clinical lead for Just a Thought Anna Elders said people are having to wait, in some cases, up to six months for professional help.
The help itself can be difficult to access because of the costs involved, which is why the Wise Group has funded and launched Just a Thought.
“We were extremely concerned about the growing numbers of people not being able to access immediate psychological support to assist with their mental health. We knew we needed to find a solution that was effective, affordable and most importantly accessible to all,” Anna said.
“We searched the globe for an empirically-supported, effective online therapy tool. We found a world-leading tool developed by a team of top clinicians and researchers from St Vincent’s Hospital and the University of New South Wales, Australia.”
The Wise Group purchased the tool and spent more than a year enhancing and adapting it for the New Zealand environment and people.
To ensure there are no barriers to accessing the tool, the Wise Group has made it available for free to all New Zealanders.
About Just a thought
People using the tool can choose to complete courses using the self-care option, or their GP/clinician can prescribe them a course and monitor their progress via secure login to a dedicated clinician dashboard.
Just a Thought currently offers courses in depression and anxiety. Other courses will be available in the next couple of years which will include mixed depression and anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, health anxiety, panic disorder, social anxiety, chronic pain, TeenStrong (a course aimed at teenagers experiencing depression and anxiety), coping with stress, introduction to mindfulness and managing insomnia.
To view the courses and find out more visit: justathought.co.nzPublished on: 12 September 2019