This tool will assist with:
- Young people aged 12-25 experiencing mental health difficulties
- First point of contact for a young person currently not being treated for mental health difficulties
- Confidential online treatment available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
eheadspace is an online counselling website designed to provide support to young people aged 12-25 years through interactions with trained clinicians. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the service is free, anonymous and confidential. Visitors are able to chat online (1pm to 1am AEST) on the phone (10pm to 1pm) and via email. Service availability does vary over the 24-hour period.
Where to access this tool
When to use eheadspace
This tool should be introduced to young people with inadequate social and professional support who are experiencing mental health difficulties between sessions. The service can also be recommended to clients when on holidays or if they are having trouble attending or engaging in sessions.
What young people thought of eheadspace
- Short waiting time to speak to counselor
- Advice provided by friendly counselors is free, insightful and helpful
- Can remain anonymous which makes being honest easier and able provide name if comfortable
- Access to record of previous conversations with mental health professional
- Open long hours
- Conversations can move slowly which is unhelpful for serious problems
- Different counselor each time you call. Have to repeat background information and rebuild rapport
- Unsure if the counselor is giving you their undivided attention or speaking with someone else at the same time
- Online chat box too small
- Difficult to manage with other programs on computer
Professionals’ advice on using eheadspace in practice
Suggest this tool to clients as a service they can incorporate into their safety plan along with others including Lifeline, Kids Helpline and ReachOut.com. Emphasise the importance of optional professional assistance instead of guidance from friends in time of need.
Assure the client the information they provide to eheadspace is confidential and with their permission, the site can also get in touch with the health professional treating them. Make them aware of the hours eheadspace are available and that it is not a crisis service.
Advice from young people
This is a really handy service to have for a young person in between sessions or as an initial point of contact for someone in need.
Professionals should make it clear when suggesting this service what counselors online and offline will cover. Also stress it is not a crisis service and provide information on others that offer that.
If a young person gives permission for eheadspace to contact their health professional, it becomes a valuable monitoring tool.
This tool was reviewed by Georgia and Rosie, young people from ReachOut.com. Professional advice was provided by Liesje Donkin (Psychologist).