Frequently asked questions

Sometimes you have questions or just need more info. Here’s a list of questions, with answers, that people frequently ask about Just a Thought. We hope you find them helpful.

If you have a question that is not covered below, please get in contact with us and we’ll do our best to answer it.

Contact the Just a Thought team

What is Just a Thought?

Just a Thought is an online learning tool that improves mental wellbeing. It’s free for everyone in New Zealand. You should never have to wait for help, so we’ve made sure it’s free and available 24/7. And it works!

It’s been clinically tested and is proven to help people with mild-to-moderate symptoms of anxiety or depression. All it takes is internet access and either a desktop or mobile device, and you can get started.

Who can use it?

Anyone in New Zealand can use it. All you need is internet access. To get started, sign up, select a course and take the first lesson. It’s that simple.

Clinicians (eg a General Practice doctor, psychologist, nurse or other healthcare professional) can also support people to use Just a Thought by prescribing a course to their patients and following their progress through a clinician dashboard.

Our courses work best for people experiencing mild or moderate symptoms of anxiety or depression. If you have more severe symptoms you can still use Just a Thought, however you may need additional support from a mental health clinician.

Just a Thought courses may not be suitable for anyone who:

  • is experiencing severe distress and suicidal thoughts –  in these cases specialised support is required and it may be better to wait until distress and risk reduces
  • is experiencing overly sedating side effects of medication which may effect your ability to concentrate on the material. It may be helpful to discuss this with your clinician.

If you are unsure if Just a Thought is right for you, talk to your clinician.

Who designed it?

The courses were developed by a team of clinicians and researchers from St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney and the University of New South Wales to improve personal wellbeing and for the treatment of anxiety and depressive disorders.

Health experts, clinicians, academics, designers, developers, communications specialists, cultural advisers and people from all walks of life in NZ have all been involved in designing Just a Thought.

Why is it called Just a Thought?

Thoughts can influence how we view our world. They play a role in how you feel and what behaviours you choose in situations. When thoughts become negative, they can impact on our lives. Learning to view thoughts as just thoughts, not necessarily facts or predictions of what may happen, helps you to focus on what matters. Then you can make decisions that have a positive outcome for you and your life.

What is CBT?

Just a Thought courses are based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Many people call it CBT for short. 

Studies show that 90% of long-term happiness is predicted by how your brain views the world! CBT helps you to view the world through a practical, positive lens. It helps you understand how your thoughts in situations affect how you feel, how your body responds, and what behaviours you may choose in response to this. CBT helps you to learn the potentially unhelpful cycles you can get into and techniques to break these cycles. 

CBT is shown to be significantly helpful for people experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions and is used all around the world by clinicians to support people.

Clinician frequently asked questions

What is CBT?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a highly effective psychological intervention for a range of conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders. CBT supports people to understand and identify how their day to day thinking, emotional and physiological responses and behavioural choices impact on each other to keep them 'stuck'.

CBT focuses on problems in the here and now, helping people identify specific changes that can be made in their thinking and behaviours that can lead to significant improvement in their mental health and overall wellbeing.

Studies show that 90% of our long-term happiness is predicted by how our brain processes the world. CBT has a unique way of helping people identify and work with their thinking, bringing them greater awareness, flexibility, choices and quality of life.

I’m not a General Practitioner, can I still register?

Yes. Any clinician (e.g. general practitioner, psychologist, medical specialist, mental health nurse or any other allied health professional) can register to prescribe Just a Thought.

What level of clinical responsibility is involved?

Clinical responsibility is only relevant to clinicians issuing a Just a Thought prescription.

Clinical responsibility under a prescription:

Clinicians who prescribe Just a Thought courses will take clinical responsibility for their patients, exactly as if they were prescribing medication or providing another treatment where monitoring of response is required. Only the ‘prescribing clinician’ will be able to see the progress of their clients registered with Just a Thought.

 

I’ve registered, given my patient a prescription and logged into my account. Is there anything else I need to do?

Please motivate your patient and keep in regular contact during their course/s.

The referring or prescribing clinician has two important roles in helping the patient benefit from their Just a Thought course. They are:

  • to stress the importance of completing the course/s according to schedule, and
  • to take an interest in patient progress through providing an identified support clinician to provide telephone or face-to-face follow-up.

These two simple steps are evidence-based solutions that have been shown to improve adherence and subsequent outcomes.

The more support and encouragement provided, the better a patient will do. Previous studies have shown that with a total of 30 minutes of email support, over 6 lessons – that’s an average of only 5 minutes per lesson, patients using Just a Thought can do as well as patients being seen face-to-face by experienced clinicians. That is, 80% complete the programme and the average patient is better than 90% of untreated patients. On the other hand, if patients are left to complete a course without encouragement, the dropout rate increases and the benefit is reduced. Therefore, reminders and regular encouragement by a supportive clinician will produce the best results.

What is the K10?

This is a measure of psychological distress.

The K10 is completed by the patient at the start of each lesson for all courses. Clinicians receive the K10 and progress report when the patient completes the lesson. Scores range from 10 to 50. People seen in primary care who score over 20 will have significant distress. K10 scores should decrease as patients complete the course. If scores are in the severe range (>30) or increase dramatically, we recommend you arrange an immediate review with the patient.

What is the Generalised Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7)?

This is a measure of worry and physiological symptoms of anxiety. The GAD-7 is completed at the beginning and end of the Generalised Anxiety Disorder course.

Scores range from 0 to 21 and should be decreased after patients have completed the course.

What is the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)?

This is a measure of depression, completed at the beginning and the end of the depression course. Scores between 0-9 indicate no or mild depression; scores between 10-19 suggest moderate depression; and scores between 20-27 indicate severe depression.

Scores should be decreased after patients have completed the course.

How do I interpret patient reports?

If you prescribe a Just a Thought course and maintain clinical responsibility for your patient, you will be emailed a patient progress report after your patient completes each lesson of the course. The explanations below will assist you in interpreting these reports.

Kessler Psychological Scale (K10)

  • This is a measure of psychological distress.
  • Scores range from 10- 50.
  • Individuals seen in primary care who score over 20 have significant distress.
  • K10 should decrease as patients complete the courses.
  • If scores remain in the severe range (>30) or increases dramatically, we recommend you arrange an immediate review with your patient.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7)

  • This is a measure of worry and physiological symptoms of anxiety.
  • Scores range from 0-21.
  • Scores under 10 indicate no diagnosis.
  • Scores should decrease as patients complete the course.

Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)

  • This is a measure of depression.
  • Scores between 0-9 indicate no depression.
  • Scores between 10-19 suggest mild or moderate depression.
  • Scores between 20-27 indicate severe depression.
  • Scores should decrease as patients complete the course.

Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS)

  • This is a measure of panic disorder severity.
  • Scores range from 0-28.
  • Scores between 0-8 indicate no diagnosis.
  • Scores should decrease as patients complete the course..

Mini-Social Phobia Inventory (Mini-SPIN)

  • This is a measure of social anxiety.
  • Scores range from 0-12.
  • A score of 6 or more indicates probable social phobia.
  • Scores should decrease as patients complete the course.