SilverCloud Health, HSE roll out digital mental health service

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Virtual services promise to make mental health support more widely available

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24 September 2021 | 0

Digital health company SilverCloud Health has partnered with the HSE on a national rollout of digital cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) to address depression and anxiety in Ireland.

In an effort to make comprehensive mental health support widely available, SilverCloud has been working with the HSE primary care psychology services for more than 18 months on a targeted pilot basis to deliver the SilverCloud Health platform and programmes for depression and anxiety treatments. 

The online CBT service is currently available to receive referrals from Primary Care Psychology, the National Counselling Service, Jigsaw and GPs across Ireland, enabling people to start accessing support within 24 hours of referral.

 

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“We know from research that digitally delivered cognitive behaviour therapy with clinical guidance is effective for treating depression and anxiety,” said Dr Derek Richards, chief science officer of SilverCloud Health. “We have been working closely with the HSE as they make the best evidence-based mental health supports available to people across Ireland, and SilverCloud’s digitally-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy is one of these. On-time and on-demand access to evidence-based digital cognitive behaviour therapy will positively impact people across Ireland, especially now, as GPs and other health services are under pressure in their communities due to Covid-19.”

As part of the HSE’s digital mental health strategy and supported by trained clinical staff, the service user journey is quick and easy. Once referred, the platform allows you access to either ‘Space from Depression’ or ‘Space from Anxiety’ programmes within 24 hours.

“Many people can receive effective treatment for mental health difficulties at Primary Care level and we know that early intervention can make a huge difference,” said Jim Ryan, assistant national director, HSE Mental Health Operations.

“Programmes like SilverCloud, with clinical oversight, will provide timely support to people who might otherwise have to wait for a face-to-face consultation, helping to ensure the right level of support is provided, at the right time. In line with our National Mental Health Policy, Sharing the Vision, we will continue to invest in these areas to improve accessibility for appropriate supports and make it easier for our Primary Care Psychologists, Counselling in Primary Care Teams and other primary care workers providing services on our behalf such as Jigsaw, to refer people on to another effective support option in a more efficient way.”

Fiona Ward, director of counselling with the HSE National Counselling Service added: “Access to an evidence-based programme such as SilverCloud, to address anxiety and depression is a really important and helpful addition to the range of Mental Health Supports being provided by the HSE and we have seen some really encouraging results from the SilverCloud programme to date. Covid-19 has impacted significantly on service users’ mental health with increasing demand for services. Having access to SilverCloud means more people can start availing of psychological support straight away. Since the Pandemic we have seen that people are more comfortable using digital technologies to get support for their mental health. The SilverCloud platform gives people the flexibility to work through the programme in their own time while still getting support along the way.”

The SilverCloud platform provides internet-based CBT and other proven methods to help people manage mental health and wellbeing. Worldwide, over 750,000 people have been helped through over 500 organisations using the platform’s digital therapy programmes, equating to the delivery of over two million hours of online therapy. The accessibility that SilverCloud Health provides through its platform means support is now available to those who may not have the ability to access conventional services.  People now have a mechanism to receive evidenced-based and effective treatment.

Details on how to refer to the SilverCloud Programme can be found at silvercloudhealth.com/ie/hse-digital-mental-health

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