Information about Caring Universities e-health research

Caring Universities is not able to provide crisis intervention. Please follow the advice at the bottom of the page if you need help immediately.

If you participate, what will you be asked to do?

Participation is voluntary and involves completing four to twelve sessions. Each session takes about an hour. If you have the support of a trained e-coach, your coach will help you set goals and give you written feedback as you go through the programme. You should expect to receive a message from your e-coach within a week of completing each module. E-coaches have received training to provide support and are supervised by a registered clinical psychologist.  Our e-coaches are all at advanced levels of training, for example, they are interns or trainees in a clinical psychology training programme or have begun their 6th year of medical school training.

Is there any risk of discomfort or harm from participation?

Research to date has not shown any risks associated with taking part in e-therapy. Indeed, research suggests that e-therapy can be an effective means to improve mood.  However, if it seems like your mood is getting lower over the time that you are participating in the programme, then we will encourage you to seek face-to-face help from a trained health professional.  We ask you for your cell-phone number at the beginning of the programme so that if it seems that you are experiencing high levels of distress we can phone you and direct you to the right service for you.

What about anonymity and confidentiality?

Your programme participation and responses during the programme will not be recorded and will not be collected as research data. Your responses to the self-help exercises can be anonymous or you are able to share your name with your coach. These responses will be visible to your coach and the supervising registered clinical psychologist only. Any information you provide to your coach will be kept confidential. You are able to participate in the programme anonymously without providing your name; this means that your coach will not know your name or any identifying details that you provide. If you participate as an anonymous person, your coach will still be able to see your phone number. Your phone number will be confidential and will only be used to contact you to give you additional options for mental health support.

If you agree to participate, can you withdraw later?

You may withdraw from participation in the project at any time.

Any questions?

If you have any questions now or in the future, please feel free to contact:

Dr Charlene Rapsey
Lecturer, Registered Clinical Psychologist
Department of Psychological Medicine
Contact phone number: 474 0999 ext. 7299

This study has been approved by the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee (Health). If you have any concerns about the ethical conduct of the research you may contact the Committee through the Human Ethics Committee Administrator (phone +64 3 479 8256 or email Any issues you raise will be treated in confidence and investigated and you will be informed of the outcome.

Caring Universities does not provide crisis support.

If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis and are having thoughts of death, self-harm, or suicide, please do not delay getting in touch with a 24/7 Crisis Support Service.

  1. If this is an emergency phone 111
    If anyone is in immediate physical danger.
  2. Or go to your nearest hospital emergency department (ED)
  3. Phone your local DHB Mental Health Crisis Team (CATT Team)
    Ring Healthline 0800 611 116 for the phone number for your region or use this website to find the number for your region:
  4. If you need to talk to someone else:
    1. Free call or text 1737 for support from a trained counsellor
    2. Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or Free text 4357 (HELP)
    3. Youthline: 0800 376 633 or Free text 234
    4. Samaritans: 0800 726 666