Banner: Attending the e-mental health roundtable

How might we better co-ordinate and collaborate within the e-mental health community?

We were delighted when we received an email from Dr Terry Fleming (of SPARX & University of Auckland) inviting us to the inaugural round table of e-mental health providers.

Whilst we are still in the relatively early days of our work to catalyse community-led wellbeing interventions, we don’t turn down opportunities to meet people who have been developing interventions for years, especially ones which hint at enabling the people and organisations in the sector to collaborate more effectively.

We met the people behind most of the well known e-mental health apps and services in Aotearoa – from Big White Wall to The Lowdown, to SPARX, The Wellbeing Game to Common Ground.

Some interesting themes emerged from our relatively short time together, including:

  • Collaboration, more partnership, Working together/alongside each other – clarity for end users
  • Regular meet ups with each other, peer support, awareness – what is everybody doing?
  • Promoting each other’s work when presenting own programmes/services
  • Cross linking on each others’ websites
  • Integrated services offerings
  • Technology sharing
  • Collective Testing/Piloting feedback
  • Impact measurement & good practice
  • Beyond one size fits all – ensuring cross-cultural relevance & accessibility

This isn’t going to be a quick journey – there’s much to be done, but increasingly people are realising the importance of the social layer that sits behind the technology – the people who can make and break a great piece of technology’s chances of success. Too often, not enough time and attention is paid to creating the conditions conducive to collaboration – thankfully it began today in the e-mental health space in Aotearoa.

We were delighted to be able to present about the Lifehack community, and the projects which are emerging from it such as Go Flo, Beast & YOMO. We also presented a little about the processes we use to foster collaboration and the work we’re doing to create best-practice models of participatory design in the youth health space. If you’re interested, here’s our slides:

We’re looking forward to the next e-Mental Health Roundtable, and to seeing how we can advance collaboration in the sector. If you have any questions, thoughts or inspirations from home/overseas you’d like us to raise at the next one – drop them into the comments below or get in touch with the question mark in the bottom right.


  1. Terry Fleming on May 28, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks Lifehack, I thought this event was great. My view is that at the moment there are a number of great online programs for mental health and wellbeing, and yet sometimes we don’t even include each other in our links! I’m sticking to my undertaking from this meeting about trying to always at least briefly mention Lifehack, Lowdown, The Journal, Common Ground, Beating the Blues, Mental Health Foundation and others when I talk about SPARX.

    At our next meeting we are talking about communications and marketing – how we share our messages with people effectively and if there are ways we can achieve greater collective impact on this.

    :) Terry

    • Sam Rye on July 12, 2015 at 5:26 pm

      Love it Terry! You’re a leading light when it comes to acknowledging one another’s great work in this space – we took a leaf out of your book and linked to everyone we could remember above!!

  2. Charmaine on July 30, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    These hui sound awesome. I would be interested in knowing how to keep updated on this. Random question … is there a similar forum that discusses;
    e-sexual health eg phone consultations with a nurse??

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