‘Digital boost’ for mental health sector

More people with mental health problems could receive the support they need if innovative technology was introduced across the sector, according to a new report.

The NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network and its partners believe that smartphone apps to track changes in mood, online platforms for peer support, and computerised monitoring of symptoms could all benefit clients, giving them help when and how they want it.

However, the report warns that if such technology is to play a truly transformative role in the mental health sector then national action is needed – including the development of a national framework for e-mental health.

It claims that digital technology holds massive potential to enable service users to become leaders in the design and delivery of mental healthcare, also providing better access to high quality applications and programmes which are clinically effective and safe.

The authors of the paper – the Mental Health Network, Big White Wall, and the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust – are calling on service users, providers and commissioners to engage in discussions about how to optimise innovative technology so that it can support cultural transformations in the mental health sector.