by emhic2021

Te Waka O Digital Mental Health & Addiction Tool (DMHAT) is an assessment framework for the safe navigation of e-mental health in Aotearoa.


The standardised assessment of digital tools and e-health is an emerging space globally. The Digital Mental Health and Addiction Tool (DMHAT) is Aotearoa New Zealand's assessment framework to guide anyone involved in the design, development and use of e-mental health tools and services. This framework will help developers and vendors meet baseline standards, to deliver safe, trusted and effective digital mental health and wellbeing solutions for individuals, whānau (family), and communities across Aotearoa New Zealand.  

Mental health apps and digital tools are defined as digitally delivered products that are aimed at supporting mental health in some way, eg, mobile apps and online programmes. This can include wellness-orientated apps if there is a clear health-related focus and benefit.

The Framework

The assessment framework has two components. The first is an introductory guide to DMHAT that sets out the baseline standards expected of digital mental health tools for users in Aotearoa New Zealand. The second component is a self-assessment tool for designers and developers of digital mental health apps and tools, available either as an online tool or a downloadable document.

Designers and developers will be guided through what it takes to meet acceptable quality standards for New Zealanders, and the health professionals who support them. In due course, it is hoped a third component will be developed that will offer a formal accreditation pathway.

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Introductory Guide

To help you become familiar with the assessment framework, we’ve created a helpful introductory guide. This guide is available to anyone, including those not registered on this site. 

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Registration is required to allow full access to the current beta DMHAT self-assessment, and will also give us a way to keep you updated as this is developed further. 

The Collaborative

A DMHAT collaborative is in development to help guide the ongoing refinement of the DMHAT criteria and assessment process. 

It will bring together whānau with lived experience, clinicians, health providers, developers, IT experts, researchers, academics and agencies at all levels so that together we can contribute to, and participate in, the assessment’s ongoing development, with a particular focus on the health and hauora space. The intention is to champion an open and inclusive approach in the pursuit of exceptional resources for those we love and serve, specifically with New Zealanders in mind.

The DMHAT Journey

The DMHAT assessment framework has been over 2 years in the making, as this is a complicated and emerging space globally. With the growing plethora of e-mental health apps and online programmes, the New Zealand Ministry of Health commissioned the development of an assessment tool to guide developers and help people make informed choices about mental health tools that meet their needs.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health and Health Navigator NZ acknowledge with appreciation that the collaborative for the New Zealand Mental Health and Addiction Tool (DMHAT) is kindly hosted by eMHIC – a global peak body in this niche domain.