Online mental health program to aid Bartholomew County residents

Bartholomew County residents will be able to receive remote assistance with their mental health needs under a new service approved by the county commissioners Monday.

Cheryl Buffo, with the Bartholomew County Mental Health Matters coalition, presented the proposal to the commissioners, saying that the remote service would be free and available to anyone in the county who needs it. The platform called CredibleMind is billed as a one-stop shop for personalized mental wellbeing.

She said CredibleMind is an evidence based online mental health platform that allows users to take 5-minute long surveys to assess mental health concerns and then based on that information provide personalized services. The service will be available via apps or on a computer. The program operates through the University of California Berkeley. She cautioned that people frequently turn to unvetted and unverified online services to address their mental health challenges.

The service would also allow the county to track demographic information such as the age or sex of the person being helped, Buffo said. In the case of Fishers, which already is using the system, it has been found that it being used most by teen girls with anxiety and eating disorders, she said.

The program can be completely anonymous or a user can login and maintain their information, such as to provide information to healthcare providers.

The county commissioners agreed to a contract for $8,910 plus a $2,000 implementation fee to be paid out of jail commissary funds.