Words: Dylan Murphy
It comes after a successful pilot scheme that had a significant impact in patients that had severe anxiety and depression.
The HSE has revealed it is contracting an online mental health support service to provide free online counselling for people with depression and anxiety across Ireland.
As reported in The Irish Times, SilverCloud, the world’s leading digital mental health company will provide online sessions and patients can be referred by their GPs, primary care psychologists, Jigsaw mental health charity and the national counselling service.
It comes after the pilot found that 88 per cent of patients that experienced severe anxiety and depression had significantly reduced symptoms following the online sessions.
With Ireland’s mental health resources coming under severe pressure in the midst of the pandemic, many services moved online and HSE assistant national director for mental health operations Jim Ryan noted that virtual services have proven useful.
“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.”
“Programmes like SilverCloud, with clinical oversight, will provide timely support to people who might otherwise have to wait for a face-to-face consultation”, he explained.
Treatment takes around eight to 12 weeks and SilverCloud states that continuing to work with the service beyond week 12 often results in improved outcomes.
We’ll update with more information as it comes.
Elsewhere on District: How Aches became Ireland’s biggest street artist.