Ep 16. A completely normal reaction to an abnormal situation, Dr Lloyd Humphreys

Normalising mental health is an essential step to breaking down barriers and ensuring all people across society have both the access to the services they need, and feel supported in themselves to engage with those services.

As Covid-19 restricted our movements and brought additional anxieties to a wide net of people, mental health services were faced with a double-headed challenge: adapting their own services so as to be able to continue uninterrupted under new, necessary restrictions and ensure patients felt safe enough to still engage with the mental health care they might need. For some, that was managed with ease, and for others it proved particularly problematic.

But it also drew attention to another area of the complete mental health care offering: digital mental health services. With the pandemic limiting services’ time and capabilities, some of the strengths of digital mental health offerings came to the forefront – namely it’s remote function and the ability to deliver a ‘one-to-many’ approach for mental health care, rather than just a predominantly ‘one-to-one’ service as was the case for many in-person services still able to operate.

In Episode 16 of NHE’s Finger on the Pulse podcast, we spoke with Dr Lloyd Humphreys, Head of Europe at SilverCloud Health – one of the leading digital mental health providers – to better understand this area of mental health care, it’s surge in use during the pandemic and look towards the future moving forward.

And most simply, for Lloyd, it was key that “we talk not about mental illness, but about mental health, because the universal truth is that we all have mental health”.

In a world where we acknowledge that we all have mental health, which sits on spectrum which can easily shift up and down with daily life, it’s also instantly apparent that, at times, our current traditional mental health offerings wouldn’t be able to meet that capacity. As such, additional tools which can be accessed in people’s own time, as and when needed, can relieve some of this strain.

“People want to access support and help in their own way. Digital is not necessarily the panacea, but rather one part of a package of care which can be offered.

“[With a one-to-many approach] you don’t have a ceiling in terms of efficiency. During some of those months in the initial wave of the pandemic, nearly 30% of all mental health care delivery, in primary care, was being delivered digitally via SilverCloud.”

And that is essential. Making mental health care accessible and open benefits all of society, especially in such unusual times as these. As Lloyd explains, the increase in mental health care need during the pandemic was both expected and perfectly natural – people struggling with their mental health during these times is “a completely normal reaction to an abnormal situation”.

Listen to the full episode with Dr Lloyd Humphreys, where we discuss all this and more in depth. Find out how digital mental health works, how a football match was helping to normalise mental health services and what the future of digital mental health care may look like:

NHE July/August 21

NHE July/August 21

Prioritising staff wellbeing

NHE’s July/August 2021 edition focuses on some of the key, defining aspects of a successful, supported health service: Mental Health & Workforce. Elsewhere, we take on the incredibly topical Infection Prevention and address the role which Pharma will play in both our NHS and wider health environment.


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National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Festival: Net-Zero NHS

As was outlined by Sir Simon Stevens when the NHS announced their green plans back in 2020, 5,700 lives could be saved each year by improved air quality. Even more could see their overall health improve and be in a position to self-manage their conditions, rather than requiring NHS treatment. Covid-19 has already left the NHS with a sizeable treatment backlog, so anything which can be done to improve patient health and reduce demand is beneficial for all.

Working together, we can help the NHS realise its green ambitions as per the Net-Zero National Health Service report and its ambitious 2040 target. Join us on August 25, 2021 for our Net-Zero NHS event, where we will be joined by health sector leaders and innovators for a day of sharing best practice and networking.

Finger on the Pulse

Ep 14. Health messaging is a science, Professor Craig Jackson

On Episode 14 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, we're joined by Professor Craig Jackson, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology
Birmingham City University to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the health messaging around it and how those in power have missed a trick by overlooking the key role of psychology in informing the public of restrictions, measures and the ever-changing situation

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