THIS WAY UP is an online program for the treatment of anxiety and depression. Learn more about the program, and get information on when it is appropriate to use it, find out what young people thought of it, and read professional advice and young people’s tips for using it in practice.
This tool will assist with:
- understanding anxiety and depression
- reducing symptoms of diagnosed anxiety and depression
- working on anxiety and depression in between face-to-face sessions.
About THIS WAY UP
THIS WAY UP Clinic provides guided online programs for managing anxiety and depression, designed to be taken under the supervision of a clinician. Access to the guided programs is restricted to people who obtain a prescription code from their clinician. The Guided Course costs $55 for 90 days access. Find out more about how the Clinic works.
Self-help is also available from THIS WAY UP, providing short information and skill development courses on anxiety and depression. Consisting of ‘learn about’ information pages and ‘learn to change’ courses, these are designed to be undertaken independently.
The site also includes material for teaching school students how to prevent anxiety and depression, and training manuals/cognitive behavioural therapy training for clinicians. All services are based on the clinically proven principles of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). Get detailed information on the range of services provided.
THIS WAY UP is part of the Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD).
Where to access this tool
When to use THIS WAY UP
This would be an excellent website for shy, worried or depressed young people who want help from the privacy of their space and who find it difficult to talk about their problems. It would be particularly useful for young people who are difficult to build rapport with due to anxiety, who are time-poor, or who need immediate assistance.
The clinician assisted THIS WAY UP Clinic can be used for more severely depressed or anxious young people so that they would have regular monitoring from the Clinic between sessions. You can refer a patient to the course and link them with support from THIS WAY UP staff; or else keep clinical responsibility yourself and monitor the patient’s progress through the course. There is a cost for clinicians and patients.
Use the self-help pages with a young person who is shy, anxious or depressed enough to be having some peer group problems but not so affected that they could not go to school or work.
What young people thought of it
- It’s engaging, easy to follow, and provides examples using stories from other people.
- Step-by-step instructions that are clear and repetitive.
- Links to emergency services on almost every page.
- Introductory lesson is a detailed quiz about your current mood, with results shared with your clinician.
- It encourages help-seeking behaviour, and makes mental health issues seem normal and treatable.
- You cannot access the guided courses without a ‘prescription’ from a clinician.
- Costs $55 on top of regular clinician fees.
- In requires you to print worksheets in addition to the lessons and keep hard copies.
- Its depth could be a deterrent to someone who isn’t very engaged, for example the homework is very text heavy (and called homework!).
- Some of the content is based around adult lives, and thus could be hard to relate to.
- The cartoons in the schools program are needlessly more childish than the adults program. The content is still sophisticated.
Professionals’ advice on using it in practice
Discuss with the young person their interest/ability to engage in online treatment methods. If they are interested, provide a brief overview of the program and review the website together.
I would introduce the self-help site quizzes first of all. The quizzes are very non-threatening and young people often like to find out about themselves in this way.
Show them the other features of the self-help site including the courses and resources. Ask them to come back when they had explored the site to discuss the next step.
At the next appointment discuss whether they had started a self-help course and if so their progress. Otherwise discuss the resources and whether the guided treatment would be an appealing option. Consciously empower the young person to be in charge of their own treatment.
Monitor suitability and effectiveness on an ongoing basis. This site is not appropriate for suicidal young people, or those with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or alcohol and other drug dependencies.
Advice from young people
The self-help information would be helpful for going over concepts in-between face-to-face sessions, and continuing thinking. Check in each session about how it’s going, whether we’ve learnt anything new, and maybe chat about the results of doing the exercises.
It would be good if the clinician could combine this into their fees.
Teachers or social workers could refer to the website for the self-help info and fact sheets, or for homework in relation to class activities. The schools program is a useful educational tool for teachers to use in class.
This tool was reviewed by Georgia and Noni, young people from the ReachOut.com community. Professional advice was provided by Alikki Russell(Psychologist) and Alison Soutter (Psychologist).