E-mental health - technology transforming mental healthcare11th February 2013
A national framework for e-mental health is essential if technology is to play a truly transformative role in mental healthcare, says a new report from the NHS Confederation's Mental Health Network and its partners.
Smartphone apps to track changes in mood, online platforms for peer support, and computerised monitoring of symptoms could help more people with mental health problems receive the support they need when and how they want it, according to a new report from the NHS Confederation's Mental Health Network and its partners.
The report warns that national action – including the development of a national framework for e-mental health – is essential if technology is to play a truly transformative role in mental healthcare and service users are to have better access to high quality applications and programmes which are clinically effective and safe.
Published today, E-mental health: what's all the fuss about? kicks off a debate about how innovative technology can support cultural transformation in the mental health sector. Produced jointly by the Mental Health Network (MHN), Big White Wall, and the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, the paper says there is massive potential for digital technology to enable service users to become service leaders in the design and delivery of mental healthcare.
It calls for service users, providers and commissioners to engage in dialogue about how to optimise the potential of digital technology to transform mental healthcare, and share ideas about what works, what is needed, and how to overcome potential risks and challenges.
Co-author of the paper Rebecca Cotton, acting deputy director of the Mental Health Network (MHN), said:
"We know that we need to make better use of NHS resources. Exploring how technology can help deliver that in mental health services is really important.
"But e-mental health is about much more than money. People expect the NHS to keep up with the pace of modern life - and that means embracing technological change."
Co-author Jen Hyatt, founder and chief executive of Big White Wall, said:
"Transformative digital models open the door to future healthcare. They shift the individual health journey from one of being ‘passive and alone’ to ‘active and supported’."
Co-author Dr Matthew Patrick, chief executive of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“We are living in a rapidly changing world. Such change brings with it challenge and risk, but also real opportunity. In the case of mental health and the digital environment I think the opportunities are significant. Not least, I think the digital revolution encourages us to rethink the nature of the contract between citizens, service users, professionals and health care services as suggested within this piece.”
The report's three authors have welcomed confirmation that the Strategic Health Authorities' mental health leads group will fund a project to map how technology is already being used in the mental health sector, both here and abroad. The project will investigate the future potential for such technologies, including how its use can help address resource challenges facing mental health services.
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Title: E-mental health - technology transforming mental healthcare
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 23722
Date Added: 11th Feb 2013