The benefits of elearning and online education


The Web is Revolutionizing Elearning and Self-help Therapy

The web is literally connecting us all to each other, today its a modern triviality to have a high quality audio-visual conversation with someone on the other side of the globe. It’s cheap and easy to do something only a few had the privilege to experience only a few decades ago.

It’s therefore unsurprising that many mental health professionals across the world have embraced telepresence technology such as Skype to provide therapy at a distance. This is especially useful to provide mental health services to those who cannot, for one reason or another, travel to receive these services in person. These could include groups such as the elderly, workers in remote places and people living in rural areas.

We know this mode of delivery quite well, in fact Renaissance Life Therapies was at the forefront of using Skype to provide psychological services and today we are probably one of the most experienced providers of this therapeutic mode in the UK.

Internet technologies are also spearheading a revolution in self-paced distance education. It’s now possible to do university level courses in any number of subjects, either as un-accredited online courses (for self-enrichment) or as certified distance education qualifications. Web technology is bringing learning to the masses at a rapid pace and the positive effect on this promises to be significant in the future.

These two developments are set to synergize in a big way. The market for self-help literature that purport to teach you how to deal with depression or navigate the trials of life in a more adaptive way is massive. Using rich web-technologies such as videos, podcasts and interactive forums and quizzes we can now turn a “passive” learning experience into an actively engaging one. Thanks to technologies like Skype we can also now include the one element that is sorely missing from self-help: on demand personalized support. The key flaw in self-help is that most people do need a little outside help for at least a small portion of the process. Getting through 95% of the solution is admirable, but that still leaves you short of achieving that solution. Providing a support option to that subset of people can make the difference between getting over the hump or abandoning the process.

We really think that the combination of these two approaches can produce something much more than the sum of its parts. Over the coming weeks we’ll be posting our new online products that combine eLearning self-help solutions with direct, personal support services. These are exciting times for both those working in the field of mental health and those in need of mental health services. In the 21st century there’s no reason why these cannot be accessible, affordable and effective. Now who can argue with that?

By Libby Seery