When you’re worried about your health it’s very tempting to first turn to that easily available doctor in your pocket – what we like to call Doctor Google. You type in your symptoms and find out what information is out there. 

In some ways this is a great development, as it allows you to be much more informed and empowered about health issues and not to be purely reliant on the health profession. In fact, some 80 per cent of people have looked up health issues online, with about 20 per cent having looked up terms such as anxiety, depression and stress.

A nervous man looks anxious as he looks at his computer screen

As a GP, I’m delighted when patients discover health issues or treatments that I am not aware of. This suits the partnership model of health care where patients take responsibility for their own health.

With the seemingly endless amount of information on the internet, you can find out almost anything to do with health. However, the trick is to decide whether the information you are looking at is high-quality, accurate, up-to-date and relevant to your specific health circumstances. One measure of the quality of a health website is whether the site is registered with the Health on the Net Foundation.

It’s also very worthwhile to look at the source of the information – who is publishing the material, is it a university or perhaps a professional organisation such as the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners?

Or is it an a organisation that is trying to sell you something? Is there a vested interest?

Here’s a list of some well recognised mental health websites that can give you credible information:

Related reading: My experience with a robot counsellor

Was this article useful?

Your feedback will help us improve our content

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up