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SafeWatch App bridges gap in Australia's escalating mental health crisis
Tue, 27th Feb 2024

The apparition of suicide and mental health issues are becoming an increasing concern in Australia with more than eight Australians dying every day due to suicide. This figure surpasses the number of deaths caused by road accidents in the country. A significant number of Australians are being pushed to ignore or eliminate mental health therapies due to the growth in the cost of living and a reduction in government subsidised psychology sessions. Roughly half of the populace suffering from mental disorders at any given time delay seeking professional help largely due to costs, which can vary between $150 and over $400 for a one-hour consultation. These challenges have been intensified by the decrease in the number of appointments eligible for a Medicare rebate from 20 to only 10 sessions, over a year ago.

While the consequences of the nation's mental health crisis becomes more severe every day, Australians are having to wait for more than two months to see a clinician to address their mental health concerns. This is in particular troublesome for individuals residing in regional areas, where the availability of such clinicians is scant. To provide some relief from this increasingly grim situation, the SafeWatch Companion App takes the initiative to provide expert, yet accessible, mental health support to those requiring daily self-care assistance and guidance to connect with others.

By targeting three critical mental health care factors, a support network, providing useful insights to health professionals and user empowerment, SafeWatch aims to take a 'village care' approach to mental health. SafeWatch Founder and CEO Shane Muller, elaborates, "SafeWatch aims to facilitate human connections and support, emphasising its role as a bridge rather than isolating technology." The app also encourages users to engage in meaningful conversations to prevent mental health issues escalating to tragic conclusions.

In more specific terms, SafeWatch was created for three major user categories: individuals seeking to improve their mental health through a range of self-care strategies; health professionals who necessitate a tool to monitor patient wellbeing both inside and out of sessions; and trusted individuals such as family, friends, or carers, who are asked by users to support them. "At SafeWatch we champion the belief that the path to mental wellness is a communal journey, not a solitary one," Shane Muller explained.

To meet the demand for affordable mental health support, SafeWatch is free to download, with additional features being accessible via in-app purchases. Shane Muller points out, "The app unites individuals, forming a supportive village where people collaboratively strive towards improved mental health." This system not only fosters a sense of community but also empowers users to take steps towards improving their mental wellbeing.

The app, which is available throughout Australia on Android and iOS devices, upholds the highest standards of user data privacy and confidentiality, employing pioneering encryption technology based on blockchain. Its design also prioritises actual human connections over screen time, highlighting a healthy balance between technology and mental wellness.

SafeWatch is already available Australia-wide via Google Play and the App Store.