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Digital mental health resources for First Nations people

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare


First Nations people in Australia are strong users of digital technology but they face barriers to using technology, including digital coverage and access to suitable devices.

Many digital mental health tools have been shown to be effective for suicide prevention, providing effective treatment for anxiety, depression and psychological distress in First Nations people. They can also contribute to a strong sense of identity and community-building. However, there are a limited number of First Nations-specific digital mental health tools, particularly resources that have undergone robust evaluation. There are also challenges identifying reputable, evidence-based and secure digital tools. And there is no standard classification system to help potential users understand their purpose.

This paper explores the evidence for digital mental health tools, specifically web-based tools or mobile phone apps, for First Nations people. It highlights benefits of these resources, examples of best practice in their development, alongside barriers and challenges to their use.