Reducing depression one click at a time

Region Southern Denmark is developing an alternative treatment for depression, that aims to stump the illness in its earliest stage.

By Lucy Hinton and Emma Rose Haas, 12 December 2014

When project manager Kim Mathiasen started designing Southern Denmark’s online psychology project Internetpsykiatrien, he had nothing. No material, no incentive structures and no trained psychologists in this field. All he had was a bare stretch of land at the Odense University Hospital. Now a fully functioning clinic is in place, making it possible to treat light to moderately depressed patients entirely online.

“No matter where you live, if you have broadband internet connection, you can be a part of this,” says Mathiasen.

Watch this video to see how the software works.

The software program aims to automate traditional face-to-face techniques used to treat depressed patients. Yet the only visual contact between patient and psychologist is during the intake interview, which itself is conducted via video conference. This allows the psychologist to screen the potential patient, and ensure the treatment is suitable for them.

READ MORE: The pros and cons of face-to-face and online treatment

The project has only been in operation for five months, and is set to be reviewed next March. It is part of a broader National Action Plan to encourage the spread of telemedicine across Denmark, and the pan European project, MasterMind.