Frequently Asked Questions

About Mental Health Guru

Mental Health Guru (MH-Guru) is an online training program designed for use by all employees within a workplace. The program has two modules; depression and anxiety. MH-Guru is designed to improve employee awareness and encourage help seeking for these and other mental health issues.

Each module takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and are comprised of:

  • information about each mental health condition
  • interactive exercises and myth busting
  • personal stories and videos
  • information to assist you to take care of your own or a co-worker’s mental wellbeing
  • information about how to access help, including Employee Assistance Programs
  • information for supervisors/managers about how to support employees with mental health issues, including legal obligations.

After completing the program, staff should have:

  • knowledge about mental health issues
  • skills to identify possible mental health problems
  • an understanding of how to respond appropriately to colleagues who might be suffering from a mental health problem
  • knowledge about how to access evidence-based help resources
  • decreased stigmatising attitudes

MH-Guru is intended for all employees within an organisation, from the most senior managers to junior and new staff.

Yes. A pilot study of the MH-Guru program within an Australian organisation showed that employees who accessed MH-Guru improved their knowledge, exhibited less stigma, and increased their intentions to seek help for depression and anxiety. These outcomes are likely to translate into less suffering for the employee, and increased productivity and reduced absenteeism.

More recently these findings have been confirmed in a ‘gold standard’ randomised controlled trial of the program in a different Australian organisation.. You can access the research paper here: KM Griffiths, et. al. Effectiveness of MH-Guru, a brief online mental health program for the workplace: A randomised controlled trial. Internet Interventions 2016; 6: 29-39.

MH-Guru was originally developed and evaluated over four years by researchers at the Australian National University. The research and development team was led by Professor Kathy Griffiths, an internationally recognised leader in e-mental health and stigma research.

The development and delivery of MH-Guru is now undertaken by e-hub Health – an ANU spin-off company managed by the senior members of the original team. e-hub Health is committed to the ongoing development of quality resources which make a measurable impact in the wellbeing of users.

For Organisations

MH-Guru is intended as a staff induction program which provides an ongoing resources for staff. The program can be provided as an optional resource for staff. However compulsory completion of the modules by all employees will lead to better organisational outcomes.

MH-Guru is aimed at reducing the costs associated with organisational losses due to untreated depression and anxiety.

Approximately 17% of workplace employees experience a mental disorder at any one time, with depression and anxiety the most common. In 2014 it was estimated that mental health conditions cost Australian businesses approximately $AU12 billion per year in organisational losses due to absenteeism, reduced work performance, increased turnover rates and compensation claims.

Mental health stigma, a lack of knowledge about treatments, and an inability to recognise signs and symptoms have all been identified as barriers to help-seeking.

By subscribing to MH-Guru, organisations can support the mental health and wellbeing of employees and contribute to a workplace without stigma where mental health problems are identified early and managed appropriately.

Most programs are offered via face to face and/or online programs and target only managers. However MH-Guru targets all employees and is delivery through an online platform that is quick and easy to implement. Once registered employees have access to MH-Guru at work and at home.

Unlike other programs, MH-Guru has proved to be effective through a ‘gold standard’ trial in an Australian organisation. The results of this trial will be published in the coming months.

Depression and anxiety are the most prevent mental health disorders. In any one year it estimated that approximately 5.3% of the Australian workforce suffer from depression, and 13.0% suffer from anxiety. Depression and anxiety can occur together and can cause greater workplace impairment compared to either depression or anxiety alone. People with depression and anxiety reported an average of 7.6 days out of role, compared to 1.4 days for people with no mental health condition and 4.2 days for one condition.

The good news is depression and anxiety disorders are highly treatable. Early treatment has been associated with reduced symptom severity and duration. These outcomes are likely to translate to less days out of role.

In order to access the program, the user needs to first create an account from either an IP address within the subscribed organisation’s range (IP address based subscription), or from any IP address using a unique token (token-based subscription). Once an account has been created, the user can log into the MH-Guru training program via an internet browser from any location or device.

MH-Guru is intended as a new staff induction program. In this context, after the initial launch and roll-out of the program, only new staff would be required complete the training.

However, staff who have completed the program can continue to access the modules by logging in with their account details. As such the program provides the user an opportunity to refresh their knowledge about treatment and help options, as well as how to manage mental health issues in the workplace.

Yes. Organisations can receive aggregated reports on the number of staff who have accessed and completed the modules.

No. MH-Guru is currently provided as a stand-alone training program.

Subscriptions to MH-Guru are very cost effective, with pricing for organisations of all sizes. Please email enquiries@mhguru.com.au for more information.

For Users

After registering a user account, MH-Guru can be accessed through an internet browser using your username and password. You can log into the MH-Guru training program from any location or device.

Yes. Once you have registered an account you can access the program via an internet browser both at home and at work.

MH-Guru is designed to improve employee awareness and attitudes about mental health conditions and to encourage early help-seeking. After completion of the program you should have the skills to identify possible mental health problems for yourself and others, and have a better understanding of how to respond appropriately to colleagues who might be suffering from a mental health condition.

The only information you enter that is visible to your employer is your progress within each module. Data entered as a part of a quiz or symptom checker is not stored and is deleted when you log out of the program or close your browser. For more information see our Privacy Statement.

If you are feeling distressed or concerned about someone else, you can get immediate support over the phone and through online services.

In Australia, these 24/7 national services offer phone and online support:

If you are concerned that you or someone else is unsafe, you can also go to the emergency department of your local hospital or ring the hospital and ask for the number of your local crisis assessment team.

Local help lines for other parts of the world are listed at befrienders.org.

You can also find other sources of help for mental health issues (see below).

There are a number of different people who can assist if you, or someone you know, has a mental health condition.

GPs

GPs can prescribe antidepressants and/or help you find other mental health support and treatment. Some GPs are trained to provide psychological therapies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

You can find a GP in your phone book, by searching online or by using a special search tool (for Australia).

Some doctors have extra training and skills in mental health so you can ask the receptionist to make an appointment with a doctor skilled in this area. Sometimes it can take a little while to find a doctor that you feel comfortable with so be persistent and speak with another doctor if necessary.

Psychiatrists are medically trained doctors who specialize in physical treatments for mental illness such as medications. Some also provide psychological therapies.

Psychological Therapists

Psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses, occupational therapists and counsellors can provide effective therapies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. If they are registered as Medicare providers, rebates are available.

Clinical Psychologists and other psychologists with advanced training can use a range of psychological therapies and approaches. This can be helpful where initial treatments have not been fully successful. Medicare rebates are available for Clinical Psychology treatment in Australia.

You can find therapists by looking in your phone book or on the websites of professional associations such as the Australian Psychological Society.

Some private health funds will also give rebates for psychological therapies. There are also free counselling services available in some areas. The Lifeline Service finder can also help you find free or low-cost services in your area. You can also contact the MindSpot Clinic for free assessment and treatment of anxiety and depression over the phone and online.

Help-lines and online support services

You can get free counselling from people who are specially trained to listen to your concerns and provide support and advice. They can also help you find services in your local area.

Crisis support lines are available 24/7 and can help people through even the most difficult times, including when they are feeling desperate or suicidal.

In Australia, these 24/7 national services offer phone and online support:

There are also many websites and help-lines that provide information about anxiety, depression and other mental health problems.

As a first step, you can use mindhealthconnect to find information websites or look at these examples:

Employee Assistance Providers

Employee Assistance Providers (EAPs) provide support, counselling and referrals for employees (and often their family members) for personal and work issues. EAP services are usually provided without employers knowing who is using the service or why.

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