After witnessing the lack of services and resources available to help Australians gain access to mental health services, Dr Jonathan King decided to take matters into his own hands. King developed an online platform, lysn, that allows people to access qualified psychologists in a matter of minutes without ever having to leave the house.
Having worked across three states, in metropolitan, regional and remote areas, King was well-versed in the lack of easily accessible mental health services. He had witnessed the stigma often associated with mental health issues and resolved to do something about it.
“I launched lysn after witnessing first-hand the huge mental health burden our country is facing,” he tells Kochie’s Business Builders (KBB).
“Working as a doctor saw me travel to several different states in Australia and it became very apparent that people suffering from mental health issues were lacking the adequate resources needed to get the help they required (especially those living in rural and remote regions). This alone sparked the idea for lysn, which has always been about improving accessibility for people suffering from mental health issues.
The new platform allows patients in metropolitan and rural areas to jump online and book an appointment with a fully qualified Australian psychologist with just the click of a button. Patients simply need a computer or tablet with internet access and a camera, to allow them access to private one-on-one appointments with a fully qualified clinical or general psychologist. No more waiting for a referral.
The innovative online platform is fast becoming a fundamental resource for Australians wanting to seek counselling services with a psychologist via secure, online video link or telephone.
“Lysn allows a person to have a psychology consultation from the comfort of their own home which is a benefit for most people.”
King says tech-savvy millennials and Gen Y were early adopters of the platform. Older generations have been slower on the uptake.
“Traditionally psychologists do face to face appointments so initially we found that first users were mainly from the younger generations who have grown up with technology. As time goes on however that demographic is widening and we see people of all ages and locations using it. Hopefully, in time, a session with a psychologist will be just as normal as a visit to the doctor, but only easier,” he says.
In Australia, the prevalence of mental illness is hard to ignore, with approximately one in every five Australians experiencing a mental illness each year.
A staggering 45% of Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, and with these rates continuing to rise each year, alternative mental health access is needed now more than ever. In a bid to solve this mental health crisis in Australia, lysn is working towards eliminating the barriers to obtaining mental health help.
“Access to mental health care can be one of the biggest barriers Australians face when it comes to improving their mental health. By providing easier and confidential access to a range of psychologists, much of the stigma around just visiting a psychologist has already been taken away. Our confidential services that are accessible from home and with affordable fees, means it’s just a matter of booking an appointment and patients can feel at ease knowing they’re taking the right steps towards a positive outlook.” King says.
King explains the platform is already successfully connecting doctors and patients around the country. He suggests it has been particularly useful in assisting remote and regional Australians to find the help they need.
“Helping people in rural and remote regions was the initial intention and the reason why I started lysn,” King adds.
“Many of these areas have limited resources and can be forced to wait weeks even months to see a psychologist (or have to drive to areas far away). Now they are able to access appointments with a psychologist whenever they need, as long as they have an adequate internet connection (this is obviously another pain point as some remote areas do have limited connections or low internet speed). However, it has opened up resources for many people living in these areas and allowed them to find a psychologist that is right for them and continue seeing that same psychologist over time.”