Mental health experts from around the world go from "on-line" to "in person" in Montreal!



    The International Conference on the Use of the Internet in Mental Health
    continues until May 16 at the Douglas Institute

    MONTREAL, May 14 /CNW Telbec/ - The International Conference on the Use
of the Internet in Mental Health began this morning at the Douglas Mental
Health University Institute. Five guest speakers shared their experiences and
opinions on the future of the Internet and its influence on practices in
mental health.
    Today, John Grohol, Psy.D., founder of the American Web site
PsychCentral.com, which was one of the first of its kind to be created in
1995, gave a brief survey of how Internet use in mental health has evolved
over the past fifteen years. Helen Christensen, PhD, from the Australian
National University, talked about using the Internet to prevent mental health
disorders and how it can even help researchers conduct on-line clinical
trials.
    Simon Bignell, from the University of Derby in the United Kingdom, spoke
about his research project, which looks at the use of virtual worlds such as
Second Life for teaching and learning in the field of psychology. Michelle
Blanc, MSc, a specialist in Web marketing, gave her professional and personal
point of view regarding blogs as support tools. David Spiegel, MD, from
Stanford University in California, shared his analysis of the Internet as a
means to organize immediate community responses after a large-scale traumatic
event.

    The Internet: An essential tool

    Searching for medical or health information is the third most common
reason why Quebeckers consulted the Internet in 2008, after accessing e-mail
and looking up vacation information.(*) Those who suffer from mental health
problems, as well as their families, commonly turn to the Internet to find
information on their disorders, to share their emotions, or simply to express
themselves through personal blogs.
    Mental health professionals have also taken ownership of this new tool to
improve their practices. "The Internet has become a common and widespread tool
for everyone, including those of us who work in mental health. This conference
will allow us to explore the new field of electronic health and discover paths
towards new approaches in terms of care," stated Alain Brunet, PhD, the
organizer of the conference and a researcher at the Douglas Institute.

    A subject of public concern

    This conference will address the most recent initiatives in information
communication, on-line diagnoses, responses to traumatic events, on-line
psychotherapy, as well as Web-based university training and research. "I think
all participants will return home with a greater range of tools to more
effectively help Internet users who are looking for precise and reliable
health care information," Alain Brunet concluded.

    One of the first conferences on the subject

    The organizing committee gratefully acknowledges the collaboration of
McGill University and the support of the Quebec Health and Social Services
Ministry, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO).

    (*)Source: NETendances 2008, an analysis report from the Centre
    francophone d'informatisation des organisations (CEFRIO) in collaboration
    with Léger Marketing

    About the Douglas-www.douglas.qc.ca

    The Douglas is a world-class institute, affiliated with McGill University
and the World Health Organization, which treats people suffering from mental
illness and offers them hope and cures. Its teams of specialists and
researchers continually advance scientific knowledge, integrate it into
patient care, and share it with the community to increase awareness and
eliminates stigma around mental illness.




For further information:

For further information: and interview requests: Marie France Coutu,
Communications and Public Affairs, Douglas Institute, (514) 761-6131,
extension 2769, Cell: (514) 835-3236, marie-france.coutu@douglas.mcgill.ca,
www.douglas.qc.ca

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Douglas Mental Health University Institute

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