Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT) is linking up with SilverCloud, the UK’s leading digital platform for mental health, to provide free access to online wellbeing programmes.
The investment will allow anyone struggling with common mental health problems like anxiety and depression, possibly worsened by the pandemic, to have instant access to the free online resources.
Dr Ellen Wilkinson, chief clinical information officer at CFT said: “Clearly the pandemic is increasing people’s uncertainty, worry and levels of stress. The impact digital therapies can make is crucial. They enable us to improve access to instant, practical, evidence-based support which anyone can use from the comfort of their own home.”
The trust has secured 12 different SilverCloud courses. These are available on its website and include modules on anxiety, depression, mindfulness, sleep, money worries, stress and Covid-19. There are also courses which address the mental health impacts of living with long-term physical health conditions like diabetes and chronic pain.
The self-guided learning includes; interactive tools, activities and videos based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). They are accessible across all devices day or night and have been designed by mental health clinicians.
Dr Wilkinson continued: “We want people to take the information and techniques they learn online and apply them to their everyday lives. The courses can help people with anxiety and depression recover to levels that are much in-line with one-to-one talking therapies.
“In fact, our county’s own talking therapy service, Outlook South West, uses SilverCloud for that very reason. We are really keen for more people to benefit from therapies like this, especially when getting out and about to use healthcare services in-person is more difficult.”
The online resources are suitable for anyone aged 16 and above. Access is immediate with no referral required. All people need to do is log onto the system from a computer, smart phone or tablet at any time of the day or night.
Rob Fierek, 71 from Albaston near Gunnislake, said: “I started a programme because this year has been really tough mentally. Anything like this which can help me deal with the challenging thoughts and emotions I’ve had in recent months is well worth a try. I am not great with computers but still found it easy to sign up. It’s got lots of useful tips and relevant advice for me to put into action.”
If you are struggling with your mental health, speak to your GP or contact the Cornwall Mental Health Response Line on 0800 083 5300.