Online self-help programs may offer a solution to long waiting times in mental health centers. This is the conclusion of Dr. Paul Koeck after a clinical study on the use of the online self-help platform

Dr. Paul Koeck, initiator of, followed the evolution of 1,056 patients with burnout, stress, depression, anxiety or hyperventilation who spent 15 minutes daily on the online self-help platform. Within two to three weeks, the average participant saw his or her stress decrease by more than 50% (see graph). Still within that period, the average total score on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) reached "normal values" again, which would indicate a clinical cure for symptoms.

"Between realizing that something needs to be done and finding a good counselor, there are usually more than three weeks, due in part to the long waiting lists at many mental health centers. As a result, some people waste valuable time - sometimes even their jobs, their relationships or their health," Dr. Koeck said. "For most stress sufferers, anxiety sufferers or people with a severe dip, self-help on the Internet is therefore a good way to avoid worse problems."

Report for GP

Dr. Koeck is trying to get health care providers involved in "The program delivers a weekly evolution report for the participant's family physician. The latter can then decide, in consultation with his or her patient, whether this form of self-help is sufficient or whether additional medication, psychotherapy or other forms of treatment are needed," he explains. "Please note that this program is in any case a supplement to traditional medical treatment and not a replacement for it."


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