Researchers at the Black Dog Institute and the University of New South Wales say a new interactive mobile phone and iPad tool can help people with anxiety and depression manage their symptoms and offer support to those who may not ordinarily seek treatment.

Minister for Mental Health, Mark Butler, launched the myCompass e-health initiative today.

“Research clearly shows that early psychological intervention can reverse mild to moderate symptoms of depression and anxiety,” says myCompass developer, UNSW Associate Professor Judy Proudfoot.

“myCompass has been designed to support people who may not seek help because of lack fo time, lack of access to face-to-face services or a fear of stigma.”

People who use the free service can also receive motivational tips via email and SMS.

More than three million Australians experience some form of mental illness each year.

The e-health initiative was funded by the federal government.

Read the full media release from the Black Dog Institute here.