e-mental health innovation and transnational implementation platform North West Europe (eMEN)


Project Summary

Each year almost 165 million, or 38%, of people in the EU experience a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety. Mental ill health presents a huge and growing economic and social burden for society, accounting for 20% of the disease burden.

Innovative and high-quality e-mental health plays an important role in tackling this societal challenge. However, there are large regional differences with regard to the use of professional e-mental health products.

At the start of the eMEN project in 2016, the average use across the Netherlands, France, Germany, UK, Belgium and Ireland was 8%, which is low compared to other healthcare sectors; with the lowest use in FR (less than 1%) and the highest in the Netherlands (15%). Unmet needs were also high, with an EU average of 6.8%. At the end of the project, the average use of e-mental health products will have increased by 7%, to 15%. This directly contributes to the region’s economic performance and innovation capacity: reducing healthcare costs, better care and access to prevention and treatment and increased growth of eHealth SMEs.

In order to realise this change, a first-of-its-kind, EU-wide platform for e-mental health innovation and implementation will be formed by private and public partners in North West Europe. Project partners are key stakeholders in the field of e-mental health and have a broad EU network.

Main project outputs and objectives:

  • At least 15 SMEs supported.
  • At least five e-mental health products developed: view the product showcase
  • One quality-test method.
  • One transnational policy solution.
  • Five years after the project ends, the average use of e-mental health products in all partner countries combined will have increased to at least 25% (with more than 40% in the Netherlands and more than 10% in FR).
  • An average reduction of unmet needs: up to 2%.
  • Ten years after the project ends, the average e-mental health use have will increased to about 60%, with an average reduction of unmet needs of up to 4%.
  • During this period a growth of 5-10% of e-Health SMEs is expected and mental health costs savings of up to 10% in NWE. 

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E-mental health implementation challenges

e-mental health implementation into clinical practice remains low because there are several challenges:

  • Product quality:
    • Co-creation with developers
    • Clinical effectiveness; (outdated) evaluation methods
    • Privacy; CE compliance (European Economic Area (EEA) certification that indicates product compliance with health, safety, and environmental protection standards)
    • Usability
  • Training and curricula development - digital skills 
  • Reimbursement systems; business model
  • Policy reform (national e-mental health [EMH] strategies)
  • Organisational priorities and need for remodeling of workflows and job design
  • Digital infrastructure
  • Awareness and acceptance (job insecurity)
  • ('Blended care') implementation protocols
  • Agreement on definitions (transparency, reliability, validity etc.)

 

If you would like to attend our eMEN events and get updates on the project, please sign up for our mailing list under the ‘Join eMEN’ section on the website.

Project Partners

  • Stichting VU-VUmc

    1 Van der Boechorststraat
    Amsterdam
    1081 BT
    Netherlands

    View partner details

  • Interapy Nederland B.V.

    21 Kabelweg
    Amsterdam
    1014 BA
    Netherlands

    View partner details

  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik und Nervenheilkunde (DGPPN)

    27 B Reinhardtstraße
    Berlin
    10117
    Germany

    View partner details

  • Landschaftsverband Rheinland - Institut für Versorgungsforschung

    2 Bergische Landstraße
    Düsseldorf
    D-40629
    Germany

    View partner details

  • Mental Health Foundation

    1 Colechurch House (London Bridge Walk)
    London
    SE1 2SX
    United Kingdom

    View partner details

  • EPSM Lille Métropole

    1123211 rue Roger Salengro
    Hellemmes
    59260
    France

    View partner details

  • Thomas More University of Applied Sciences

    4 Kleinhoefstraat
    Geel
    2440
    Belgium

    View partner details

  • Pulso Europe CVBA

    52 Diestsesteenweg
    Kessel-Lo
    3010
    Belgium

    View partner details

  • Mental Health Reform

    Coleraine House Coleraine Street
    Dublin
    Dublin 7
    Ireland

    View partner details

  • Stichting Arq

    5 Nienoord
    Diemen
    1112 XE
    Netherlands

    View partner details

Lead partner

Organisation Contact name Address Email Website
Stichting Arq Oyono Vlijter 5 Nienoord
Diemen
1112 XE
Netherlands
o.vlijter@arq.org www.arq.org
Name Contact Name Email Country
Stichting VU-VUmc Professor Heleen Riper h.riper@vu.nl Netherlands
Interapy Nederland B.V. Dr Bart Schrieken schrieken@interapy.nl Netherlands
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik und Nervenheilkunde (DGPPN) Astrid Ramge ramge@seelischegesundheit.net Germany
Landschaftsverband Rheinland - Institut für Versorgungsforschung Jürgen Zielasek juergen.zielasek@lvr.de Germany
Mental Health Foundation Dr Antonis Kousoulis AKousoulis@mentalhealth.org.uk United Kingdom
EPSM Lille Métropole Bianca de Rosario bderosario@epsm-lille-metropole.fr France
Thomas More University of Applied Sciences Lieven De Maesschalck lieven.demaesschalck@thomasmore.be Belgium
Pulso Europe CVBA Lore Van den Broeck lore.vandenbroeck@pulso-europe.eu Belgium
Mental Health Reform Shari McDaid smcdaid@mentalhealthreform.ie Ireland

The main aims of the eMEN platform are gathering and exchanging knowledge on the topic of e-mental health, particularly in the area of e-mental health implementation, raising awareness, influencing attitudes, changing behaviour, and maintaining behaviour changes on e-mental health and its implementation among eMEN's multiple stakeholders.

The eMEN platform in four pillars

To achieve its goals the eMEN platform consists of four pillars: a research pillar, a products pillar, an implementation pillar, and a policy pillar. This main structure is depicted below:

Explaining the eMEN pillars in more detail:

[1] Research

The aim of the research pillar is to present current and ongoing research in the area of e-mental health and implementation research, with a particular focus on comparative effectiveness research, improvement of methods, and implementation science.

Examples of research topics include:

  1. Implementation science: how can the learning from this science provide knowledge about how to implement e-mental health?
  2. Innovative methodology for research and finished projects: what is a fast and reliable research methodology for validation?
  3. Comparative effectiveness research: how can we learn from other studies and compare them?
  4. Ongoing research.
[2] Products

The aim of the products pillar is to share and facilitate development of e-mental health innovations. This includes testing and demonstrating the effects, safety and functionalities of new and existing products, developing business cases and attributing value to e-mental health and showcasing products and success stories:

  1. Showcasing finished projects
  2. Valorisation/business cases AND validation/testing
  3. Innovating/developing new products.
[3] Implementation

The aim of the implementation pillar is to support implementation of effective and safe e-mental health products in routine care settings. This includes tools and methods for assessing added value and the impact of the products that are to be implemented, as well as sharing knowledge on effective implementation strategies and lessons learned. This pillar is directly related to the other pillars:

  1. Implementation tools
  2. Best practice and lessons learned
  3. Methodologies for Health Technology Assessment of e-mental health products
  4. Management of organisations/employers.
[4] Policy

The policy pillar aims d to support discussions and development of transnational policy solutions, including normative foundations, legal and ethical implications, quality criteria for accessing the care market, and reimbursement systems.

The four pillars are highly interrelated and each work area informs the others in these domains in achieving the main goals of eMEN:

  1. Quality criteria for assessing the care market
  2. Transnational policy solution
  3. Legal/ethical implications
  4. Reimbursement systems.

News & Blogs


‘ESIF for Health’ project in Budapest, Hungary

Posted on

On September 18th and 19th the eMEN project was presented by lead partner Arq at the 2-day workshop of the ‘ESIF for Health’ project in Budapest, Hungary. The aim of the ESIF project is to gather knowledge on how the European structural and investment funds are used to support health investments in the 2014-2020 programming period. In addition, the project promotes development capacities of Member States and regions to support the effective implementation of ESIF for health. Read More

The future of the Dutch mental health sector

Posted on

In July 2018 the main Dutch mental health stakeholders (including Mental Health Netherlands and the Ministry of Health) agreed on a joint ambition for mental health. This ambition clearly shows that the Dutch mental health landscape will change quickly in the coming years. There will be a strong focus on integrated care and care in the right place. The latter essentially means: prevent expensive care, provide care closer to home (if possible), provide more ambulant care and replace regular care with other support such as eHealth. Read More

Clever ECAs in Dutch Moodbuster-study

Posted on

Embodied conversational agents (ECAs) are computer-generated characters that simulate human-like behaviors to communicate with users. Can ECAs be used to bridge the gap between guided and unguided online interventions for mental health disorders? What is the effectiveness of ECAs used in internet interventions for the treatment of (light to mild) depression? Do they have a positive effect on rates of client adherence to treatment? Simon Provoost, PhD student at VU University, investigated the effectiveness of ECAs in online interventions for depression. Read More

Report shows digital technology could play important role in mental healthcare in Ireland

Posted on

‘eMental Health: State-of-the-Art & Opportunities for Ireland’ report by Kevin Cullen was launched by the Irish Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly, TD on the 16th May in the Science Gallery, Dublin. The launch was part of a stakeholders engagement event, organised by Mental Health Reform as part of the eMEN project. Mental Health Reform are the national coalition on mental health in Ireland. Read More


Events


[Upcoming] eMental Health: The Next Big Thing in Psychological Practice?

, Hilton Hotel, Charlemont Place, Dublin 2

Save the date for a FREE international seminar on eMental Health in Psychological Practice, organised jointly by Mental Health Reform and the Psychological Society of Ireland. The event will be held on the 9th October 2018, 9am - 4pm in the Hilton Hotel, Charlemont Place, Dublin 2. This seminar is part of the eMEN project - funded by Interreg North West Europe and the HSE.
Read More


The eMEN team consists of a range of mental health experts across North West Europe.

Arq Foundation - Lead Partner (Netherlands)

Arq Foundation is a mental health treatment, knowledge and training centre, which focuses on the impact of overwhelming events and psychotrauma (PTSD). Each of the 9 partners of the Arq group is an expert in its own field, with a broad international network. The Arq group has 375 staff and a turn over of €31 million.

Arq is a leading national treatment and expertise center for psychotrauma and has many years of international experience in this field. It closely cooperates with a number of international stakeholders. Since 2009 Arq has been active in the field of e-mental health research, development and implementation. It has developed a leading position in the field of e-mental health treatment for psychotrauma.

Arq's team:

Oyono Vlijter - Project Lead
Oyono Vlijter

Oyono is an EU funding consultant and e-mental health project manager

Since 1999 he has developed projects in the field of industry, healthcare, education, culture and international business cooperation. He has implemented project missions in the EU and the Caribbean. In 2008 he started his own EU funding and management consultancy (bizzEUROPE consulting). In 2009 Oyono started with developing e-mental health projects for Arq Foundation, a specialised psycho trauma treatment and research centre (with about 380 staff). The main aim of these projects is to promote high quality e-mental health for prevention and treatment.

Since 2009 he has developed and was able to get Dutch and/or EU funding for e-mental health projects with a total volume of over 10 million euros. These projects have an multidisciplinary and integrated approach which is crucial for successfully promoting this type of health care technology. Oyono is currently project leader of the Interreg NWE funded eMEN project.

    

Oyono has two master's degrees: one in International Relations (University of Utrecht) and one in European Studies on Science and Technology (University of Maastricht). He has also studied at the University of Florida (USA) and the Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg (FR).

 

LinkedIn profile:

https://nl.linkedin.com/in/oyonovlijter

Corné Versluis

Corné is responsible for online psychosocial support & care and runs e-mental health projects as a project leader.

He studied for a Masters Degree in History, specifically political history, at University of Utrecht and went on to study an additional Masters Degree in Public Information Management at the TIAS School for Business and Society.

On the eMEN project, Corné is an E-mental Health Advisor 

 

Manon Boeschoten

Manon is a neuropsychologist and is currently head of the screening and diagnostics programme at Arq.

She is currently working on the research and development of state-of-the-art and innovative diagnostic tools in the field of psychotrauma.

Manon has worked as a clinical application specialist with a neuro-technology company and has played a key role in a number of research and development projects with international research institutes and treatment centers in the field of psychiatry and psychology.

On the eMEN project, Manon is working as an e-mental health product developer.

 

Barbara de Groot

Barbara works for Impact, partner in Arq, as a secretary / project assistant.

She has assisted in several EU projects in which Impact was partnered with an international consortium. In the eMEN project she will be working as the project assistant for Arq.

Professor Miranda Olff

Miranda Olff is a professor in the field of psychotrauma.

Her research has focused on the psychological and biological responses to traumatic stress and (early) interventions including the effects of debriefing, early trauma interventions, and different forms of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy in PTSD patients.

Further research includes neuroimaging and neuroendocrine studies of PTSD; the effects of therapy on neurobiological variables; the psychopathology of injured patients admitted to the trauma unit; disaster related research; epidemiological surveys on trauma and PTSD; gender differences in PTSD; the impact of threat and personal protection on politicians; and (co-ordination of) large EU-funded projects on post-disaster psychosocial care all over Europe.

Two large EU projects which Miranda has been a key part of address online and m-health applications for dealing with adversity or major disasters. Mobile apps (for screening, assessment and support after trauma) and e-learning tools are currently being investigated.

Reina Fennema

Reina is a psychologist and is currently implementing e-health at Arq.

Prior to her work for Arq she was an e-health product manager at Antes (a Dutch mental health care group), contributing to improving an e-mental health platform (EMHP). She was also involved in the development and testing of new e-health interventions and applications.

Apart from her work for the mental health sector, she has experience working with the development, testing and implementation of digital services for UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) and with the hands-on coaching of clients via these services.

On the eMEN project, Reina is working as an e-mental health product developer.

Hobbe Jan Hiemstra

Hobbe Jan Hiemstra is digital care innovater at Arq.

He is also coordinator of cooperative Mental Wealth a group of organizations which develops and implements e-health applications based on gamification and client autonomy. Hobbe Jan is participating in working groups of the Dutch Association of Mental Health and Addiction Care.

Previously he worked as business developer on the OPSIC project which focussed on operationalizing psychosocial support after traumatic events.

Hobbe Jan is part of the Advisory board of the ImplementAll project. Within the eMen project Hobbe Jan is Product developer for Mirror and participates in the Longterm and Communication workgroups.

Interapy PLC (Netherlands)

Interapy is the first health institute specialised in the online treatment of mental disorders worldwide. The organisation stems from a research group at the University of Amsterdam. Interapy did extensive controlled and naturalistic research on effective online treatment methods, resulting in the implementation of evidence-based e-health for post-traumatic stress, depression, panic disorder, work related stress and eating disorders.

Since 2001, Interapy has a team of trained psychologists treating clients from the general public, was recognised by the Dutch ministry of health as a mental health institution and treatments are reimbursed by the Dutch health insurance.

Interapy works together with several national and international institutes on development, research and implementation of e-mental health.

Interapy's team:

Dr Bart Schrieken

Bart is Clinical Director at Interapy and was one of the founders of the organisation in 2001.

He has a background in clinical research and has been active in e-health development and research since as far back as 1996.

At Interapy he has led the development team that designed evidence-based e-health for treatments of specific mental disorders. Additionally, he has played an important role in the implementation of e-mental health in Holland and abroad.

Recently he has been active in several national and international projects sharing his knowledge on the design and implementation of effective e-mental health.

Claartje Michels

Claartje Michels belongs to the first generation of trained online therapists.

As a psychologist she has been treating patients online for mental disorders ranging from PTSD, work-related stress, panic disorders to eating disorders. Besides her clinical work she devotes an important part of her time working as developer of Interapy’s evidence-based online treatment programs. At Interapy she also is editor of the Interapy website.

Maurice Hidajat

Maurice Hidajat is a trained computer engineer and senior system architect at Interapy.

He is responsible for the functional and software design of interactive treatment and diagnostic applications. His goal is to create software with a positive user experience, leading to increased efficiency, without sacrificing quality.

Maurice has done extensive work in the field of medical software design and medical research, designing and implementing software for automation of clinical trials, which were used in several Europe-wide clinical (imaging) trials.

VU University (Netherlands)

The VU-VUmc is a state-funded University with over 26,000 students and over 2,000 academic staff. The clinical psychology department is one of the leading international research groups in e-health for mental disorders and behavioural health worldwide.

VU established the Triple-E network in 2013, an e-health research network with over 25 partners in the Netherlands, and 1 EU organisation (ESRII), for promoting the cost effectiveness of mental health care delivery by using innovative digital technologies.

VU's team:

Professor Heleen Riper

Heleen Riper is Professor of eMental-Health, at the VU University Amsterdam at the Department of Clinical Neuro- & Developmental Psychology; Honorary Professor at the Telepsychiatric Center and Institute of Clinical Research, at the University of Southern Denmark; and Senior Researcher at the GGZinGeest (The Netherlands).

Her national and European research is focused on the development, (cost-)effectiveness and implementation of innovative new media interventions for common mental health disorders. This is expressed in over 40 large National and European research projects and over 100 national and international (co) authored publications on eMental-health. She has supervised 19 phD students and is also an invited speaker on these topics at (inter)national scientific and professional conferences.

She is a board member and past president of the International Society (ISRII) for Research on Internet Interventions, founder and chair of the Dutch ISRII (NSRII) and co-founded the European Society for Research on Internet Interventions (ESRII).

Heleen Riper has worked for a decade at the Trimbos Institute as Director of the Program of Early Intervention and the Innovation Centre of Mental-Health and Technology. She also chaired the Centre of Prevention. Before this period she worked at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Limerick (Republic of Ireland).

Dr Annet Kleiboer

Annet is associate professor in the Department of Clinical Psychology at VU University.

Her research is focused on developing, optimising, and testing the effects of self-help interventions for common mental health disorders.

Annet is involved in several national and international projects in this area and currently supervises six PhD students as well as teaching courses on randomised controlled trials and low-intensity treatments.

Dr. Jiska Aardoom

Jiska is the product developer for Moodbuster.

 

She is a post-doctoral researcher at the VU University Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the development and investigation of E-health interventions for the prevention and treatment of mental disorders.

Marleen Swenne

Marleen is a communications professional.

She studied Dutch language & literature and Theatre Studies at the University of Amsterdam and later studied graphic design at the Royal Academy in The Hague.

Marleen worked as a writer, communication officer and production manager for theatre productions and other events and as a communication officer at the Dutch HIV Association and the NPCF (Dutch Patients Federation).

She is also an independent writer, editor and graphic designer for several projects and organisations.

Niko Boumparis

Niko graduated from the VU University Amsterdam with a research master in clinical and developmental psychopathology.

Currently, he is doing a PhD focusing on e-mental health. On the eMEN project, he is responsible for the evaluation of the EMD-app 2.0 through a randomized controlled trial which is taking place in Centrum’45 in Oegstgeest.

Thomas More University of Applied Sciences (Belgium)

Thomas More is the largest university college in Flanders with over 15,000 students and over 1,400 staff. Two centres of expertise are working in close collaboration on the eMEN project: Mobilab and the expertise unit on Psychology, Technology and Society (PsyTS).

Mobilab is a multidisciplinary centre within a broad national and international network conducting leading and innovative applied research into wellbeing and technology. The research activities create a socially relevant synergy between research, education and practice, aimed at improving quality of life and wellbeing. Mobilab has acquired expertise in a variety of domains such as biomedical technology, computer simulation, design and construction of biomechanical and biomedical systems and footwear technology.

The expertise unit on PsyTS conducts research in the field of psychology and technology, social psychology and environmental psychology. Within the field of psychology and technology, the unit strongly focuses on the interaction between both domains, in particular within the context of mental healthcare and in human-technology interactions. The expertise unit has a strong network of strategic national and international academic partners and of local SMEs in the field of (mental) healthcare.

Thomas More's team:

Dr Bert Bonroy

Bert's research interests lie in the field biomedical engineering.

He obtained his PhD in Engineering Technology in 2015 at the KU Leuven in collaboration with Thomas More Kempen University College.

Marc Mertens

Marc has a master's degree in Industrial Sciences in Electronics and has a postgraduate degree in Relation and Communication sciences.

He worked both in academic and industrial research environments. As a Thomas More University College researcher, he performs research in the domain of detecting behavioral changes with older people. He is doing his doctoral studies in this topic at the Catholic University of Leuven at the Computer Sciences Department. 

Dr Tom Van Daele

Tom Van Daele is the head of the Expertise Unity Psychology, Technology & Society of Thomas More University of Applied Sciences and a research fellow at KU Leuven, working in the field of applied psychology and technology.

As a clinical psychologist, he is particularly interested in e-mental health, m-health and their relevance to mental healthcare and (mental) health prevention and promotion.

Dr Eva Van Assche

Eva is an experimental and cognitive psychologist who obtained her PhD in psychology in 2009.

She has been working as guest professor and as a researcher with a focus on quantitative research. 

Marijke Huybrechts

Marijke has been project support in several European projects since 2012.

She provides assistance in financial reporting and communications, as well as office management.

Karolien Baldewijns

Karolien Baldewijns is a registered nurse with a master's in medical and social sciences.

As a Thomas More University college researcher, she performs research in the domain of qualitative elderly care. She is doing her doctoral studies in this topic in the cardiology department at the University of Maastricht.

Pulso Europe (Belgium)

Pulso Europe is a social enterprise, delivering innovative evidence-based tools and services for assessing and impacting psychosocial wellbeing. Areas of expertise include wellbeing strategic consultancy and project development, employee assistance programmes, wellbeing and engagement surveys, wellbeing training and coaching, and self-assessment & e-mental health tools for the general public and businesses.

As a Leuven University partner, Pulso collaborates with the academic community to stay informed about the latest scientific insights. With 30 permanent employees (trainers, consultants, coaches, researchers and psychologists) and a network of over a 100 freelance psychologists, therapists and coaches, it adds value to customers by delivering an integrated approach to prevention and wellbeing.

Pulso's team:

Kimberly Desie

Lore Van den Broeck

Lore Van den Broeck has a master’s degree in experimental psychology and is currently finishing her PhD in Biological Psychology.

 

As a member of the Surveys, Tools and Product Development Team at Pulso, she mainly focuses on the maintenance and development of online mental health tools.

Anke Luts

Anke is a senior manager at ISW.

She provides individual support and coaching as well as group training on psychosocial risks at work (stress, assertiveness and conflict mediation) and has great experience with team coaching and facilitating psychosocial risk analysis and e-mental health.

She has project managed a number of e-mental health projects related to depression and has a strong track-record in developing e-mental health tools within different contexts. She implemented an e-mental health tool about depression for cancer patients and developed an online portal 'job and care coaching' for a better reintegration after depression/burnout.

Anke has master's degrees in clinical psychology and work and organisational psychology.

EPSM (France)

EPSM's mission is to care for mental health disorders, providing regional mental health services in the Lille metropole, for prevention, diagnosis and care, for adults and children. EPSM has a broad regional, national and international network and has 10 offices in the metropole region of Lille.

The World Health Organization Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) for Research and Training in Mental Health is one of the 46 WHO Collaborating Centres (the only one in France, and one of the four French speaking centres). The WHOCC involves a partnership of hospitals, research centres and universities. It is part of the applied research team in mental health ERASM (Equipe de recherche appliquée en santé mentale) and the Inserm (National Institute of Health and Scientific Research) "Clinical epidemiology and economic evaluation and vulnerable populations" Unit. It partners with the 15-organisation Health Care Cooperation Consortium for Research and Training in Mental Health.

Its multi-annual programme includes activity on: community mental health services, technical assistance to French speaking countries to implement mental health local councils, empowerment of service users and carers using WHO’s QualityRights Tool Kit, promotion of peer support, revision of ICD-10 in French speaking countries, and addressing mental and physical health co-morbidities.

EPSM's team:

Dr Jean-Luc Roelandt

Jean-Luc is a psychiatrist and Director of WHOCC.

He is Supervisor on the eMEN project.

Sofian Berrouiguet

Sofian is a psychiatrist at the Regional University Hospital of Brest.

He is an e-mental health expert, specializing suicide prevention and depression. He is an expert on the eMEN project.

Alain Dannet

Alain is the WHOCC’s Communication Manager.

He leads communications on the eMEN project.

Bianca De Rosario

Bianca is project coordinator, responsible for eMEN at the WHO Collaborating Centre-EPSM Lille Métropole.

Bianca holds a Master's degree in Public Health. Before joining EPSM in 2016, she previously worked on evaluation of public health policies

Jean-Marie Sengelen

Jean-Marie is a Medical Consultant for hospital IT strategies.

He studied Medicine, specialising in Psychiatry, at Université de Limoges.

 

DGPPN-ABSG (Germany)

The DGPPN is the largest medical association for issues related to mental illness in Germany. It combines the expertise of 9,000 doctors and scientists specialised in psychiatry, psychotherapy and psychosomatics who work in university departments, hospitals, outpatient practices and in research.

The DGPPN campaigns for optimal medical care of patients with mental illness. It develops clinical practice guidelines, promotes training and continuing education and is engaged in research into mental illnesses to advance the development of diagnostics and therapy.

The main focus is thereby on the holistic perspective of people and all their individual mental, physical and social facets. The DGPPN works actively for the inclusion of people with mental illness and against their stigmatisation.

DGPPN's team:

Kristina Günther

Kristina holds a diploma in psychology and is currently being trained as a cognitive behavioral therapist.

At the eMEN project she is involved in all working packages.

Before Kristina started at the DGPPN for the eMEN project, she was involved in project organization in neurocognitive research.

Gabriel Gerlinger

Gabriel Gerlinger is head of public affairs and science at the DGPPN.

He is member of the council of the Foundation for Mental Health in Germany.

His main policy and research interests include human rights, stigma, and the implementation of online-based interventions into the German health care system.

Gabriel holds a Diploma (equiv. Msc) in Psychology and a MA in History and Philosophy.

LVR-IVF (Germany)

The Landschaftsverband Rheinland (LVR) – The Rhineland Regional Council – provides a broad range of community services for about 9.6 million people in the Rhineland region. “Quality for people” is the guiding principle of LVR.

The LVR-Institute for Healthcare Research (LVR-IVF) is led by Professor E. Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, who is also the Medical Director of the LVR-Clinic in Cologne. From 2014 to 2016, Professor W. Gaebel was the Founding Director. LVR-IVF is a branch of the LVR Clinics association and is specialised in mental healthcare research. Involved in national and international projects on topics such as quality indicators or innovative health care approaches, LVR-IVF aims at facilitating the integration of research findings into the clinical setting.

Besides this, LVR-IVF is a member of the German Network for Health Services Research (Deutsches Netzwerk für Versorgungsforschung) and collaborates with the WHO Collaborating Center for Quality Assurance and Empowerment in Mental Healthcare at the LVR-Klinikum Düsseldorf.

 

 

LVR's team:

Professor Wolfgang Gaebel

Wolfgang is Professor of Psychiatry and psychotherapy, former Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf and Medical Director of the LVR-Klinikum Düsseldorf. He is Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Quality Assurance and Empowerment in Mental Health. From 2014 to 2016, he was also Founding Director of the LVR-Institute for Mental Healthcare Research (LVR-IVF).

He is Past President of the European Psychiatry Association (EPA), Past President of the German Society of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics, and Psychotherapy (DGPPN) and Chairman of the Aktionsbündnis für Seelische Gesundheit (ABSG).

A psychiatrist and neurologist by training, Wolfgang has more than 30 years´ experience in co-ordinating national and international research projects. His research focus is on the development of quality standards in mental healthcare such as guidelines and quality indicators, the classification of mental disorders and the etiopathogenesis of psychotic disorders.

For the eMEN project, he is the leader of work package WP.T2 'Transnational policy solution for e-mental health implementation' on behalf of LVR-IVF.

Professor Jürgen Zielasek

Jürgen is scientific coordinator of the LVR-Institute for Mental Healthcare Reseach (LVR-IVF).

Nadine Trost

Nadine works as a research associate at LVR-IVF. In the eMEN project, her main responsibility is the development and coordination of the transnational policy solution.

She holds a master’s degree in Health Education and Promotion (MSc) and a bachelor’s degree in European Public Health (BSc). Prior to joining the eMEN project, Nadine gathered experience in health research within the Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine Research Group at Curtin University, and gained some practical insights into health management at a regional Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Sandra Diekmann

Sandra works as a research associate at LVR-IVF. In the eMEN project, her main responsibility is the development and coordination of the transnational policy solution.

With a bachelor´s degree in health economics and management (BSc) and a master´s degree in Health Care Policy, Innovation and Management (MSc), Sandra gained experience in a European project related to market access for medical devices and pharmaceuticals before joining the eMEN project.

Mental Health Reform (Ireland)

Mental Health Reform (MHR) is Ireland’s leading national coalition of organisations campaigning to transform mental health and well-being supports in Ireland.

MHR was formed in 2006 and now have 60 member organisations representing a range of interests such as human rights, disability, children’s rights and housing  and more than 10,000 individual supporters connected through social media.

MHR conducts research, consults with stakeholders, develops good practice advice, informs policymakers and public agencies, and mobilises supporters to advocate for change.

Dr Shari McDaid

Shari is Director of Mental Health Reform.

She is the Chairperson of the Children’s Mental Health Coalition and a member of the Healthy Ireland Council. In July 2016 she was appointed to the National Taskforce on Youth Mental Health by the Minister with responsibility for mental health, Helen McEntee.

Before joining MHR in 2011, Shari worked with Amnesty International Ireland, the National Disability Authority, Shine.

Shari received her PhD in 2008 from the Equality Studies Centre at UCD, with a thesis entitled Power, Empowerment and User Involvement in the Public Mental Health Services in Ireland.

Dominika Topolska

Dominika Topolska joined Mental Health Reform in November 2016 as e-Mental Health Project Executive.

Prior to joining MHR Dominika has worked for 2into3, Forum Polonia, Dublin Employment Pact & New Communities Partnership (EU Integration Fund Project) , Crosscare Migrant Project, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) and the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI).

Dominika has a MA in Intercultural Studies from the Jagiellonian University.

Mental Health Foundation (UK)

The Mental Health Foundation is the UK’s leading public mental health charity with a strong focus on addressing mental health inequalities.

The Foundation has championed the centrality of the voices of people with lived experience of mental health problems, and from disadvantaged and seldom-heard groups.

Its vision is for a world with good mental health for all; and its mission is to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health.

Working across the UK with offices in England, Scotland and Wales, the Foundation integrates activities in the domains of research, policy, programme innovation, and public information and campaigns. It has been a longstanding advocate for digital mental health and has an online mindfulness programme BeMindful.

Dr Antonis Kousoulis

Dr Antonis Kousoulis joined the Mental Health Foundation in February 2016 as the Assistant Director for Innovation & Development Programmes. Previously, he was Deputy Director for Development at Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) within the UK Department of Health.

His experience includes time in industry and, mostly, academia where he has been an investigator in various research protocols, including clinical trials at University College London, Harvard School of Public Health, Liverpool University and the University of Crete. Antonis qualified in medicine at the University of Athens, Greece, and has undertaken postgraduate degrees in public health at Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

He has published over 60 papers in international scientific journals, presented in over 120 scientific meetings, and taught at the Oxford University Department of Primary Care.

Josefien Breedvelt

Josefien leads on the development and management of research & evaluation at the Mental Health Foundation. She also oversees the Janice Sinson Research Award and has set up the podcasts with the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Josefien has worked in development roles at the Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust and research posts at the Institute of Psychiatry. Currently, Josefien is working on projects focusing on prevention of depression, digital mental health, community prevention programmes and analysis of data relating to prevention, wellbeing, gender, online behaviour and social determinants.

As well as her native Dutch, she speaks English, basic German and French.

Stuart Hill

Stuart oversees all the Mental Health Foundation's digital outputs, primarily on their website and social media.

He is involved in the planning, production and delivery of digital content and project manages longer-term developments to the website.

Before joining the Foundation, Stuart worked for The King’s Fund health care think tank, working on a wide range of digital outputs. He has a degree in politics and a master's in web journalism.

Clare Murphy

Clare works on critical issues related to both policy development and the effectiveness of e-mental health interventions currently being developed across Europe and the UK.

A significant part of the role concerns strand of eMEN, involving RCTs and research on the implementation and acceptability of digital tools in the private and public sector. On top of this she focuses on policy development, addressing the challenges, benefits and ethics of implementing digital into the mental health sector.

Previously, Clare studied Psychology and psychoanalysis in Dublin and Ghent, and worked as an academic writer and researcher for Ghent University. Her PhD focused on language disturbances in psychosis and she has extensive clinical experience of working with people affected by psychosis as well as other enduring mental health difficulties.

Lucy Thorpe

Dorien Eising

Dorien is a Research Assistant at the Mental Health Foundation.

She has an Honorary MSc in Clinical Psychology from Utrecht University and a clinical and research background in Psychotrauma and secondary data analysis.

Before working at the Foundation, she volunteered as a child care worker in South Africa and the Netherlands. She is particularly interested in coaching and preventing or resolving personal, family and workplace problems that impact on people's well-being.  She is a native Dutch speaker.

This showcase outlines the selected products of which we think have great potential, even greater benefits and low(er) costs if implemented well. That’s where eMEN helps, guiding you towards successful implementation.

Download the product development showcase

Promoting e-mental health with product development and implementation pilots:

This page contains a range of peer reviewed publications, policy documents, infographics and downloads relevant to the eMEN project.

 

Approaches to evidence-based research

Comparing applets and oranges: barriers to evidence-based practice for app-based psychological interventions

Are Randomized Controlled Trials the (G)old Standard? From Clinical Intelligence to Prescriptive Analytics

Beyond the RCT: a review of alternatives in mHealth clinical trial methods

Where Is the Evidence for “Evidence-Based” Therapy?

Accelerating Digital Mental Health Research From Early Design and Creation to Successful Implementation and Sustainment

Specific barriers to the conduct of randomised clinical trials on medical devices

 

Implementing e-mental health products into services

Implementing and up-scaling evidence-based eMental health in Europe: The study protocol for the MasterMind project

Implementation of eMental health care viewpoints from key informants and agencies from eHealth mandates

Improving Implementation of eMental Health for Mood Disorders in Routine Practice: Systematic Review of Barriers and Facilitating Factors

Medical apps, is certification required? Check whether your app requires CE marking

 

Implementing e-mental health for clinicians

Toolkit for e-Mental Health Implementation

e-Mental health: A guide for General Practitioners

eMental Health Care Technologies for Anxiety and Depression in Childhood and Adolescence

 

Evaluating of e-mental health products

Guidelines for reporting of health interventions using mobile phones: mobile health (mHealth) evidence reporting and assessment (mERA) checklist

Validation of Games for Behavioral Change: Connecting the Playful and Serious

 

E-mental health policy around Europe

Guidelines relating to the application of the application of the council directive 93/42/EEC on medical devices

REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation)

RE-AIMing e-Mental Health: A Rapid Review of Current Research

e-Mental health: State-of-the-art & opportunities for Ireland

e-Mental health: State-of-the-art & opportunities for Ireland (Executive Summary)

​​

Best practice examples and case-studies

Stichting Kwaliteit Basis GGZ (Netherlands)

Therapy 2.0 (Europe-wide)

 

Podcasts

Listen to our eMEN podcasts

 

Newsletters

eMEN Autumn Newsletter 2018

Welcome to the eMEN Autumn newsletter, updating you on our progress and achievements across Europe in e-mental health technologies.

What is happening across the eMEN project?

Over the course of the project, each partner is piloting an e-mental health product. The examples in this autumn’s newsletter illustrate some of the innovative approaches emerging from our studies, which aim to address barriers to the uptake of e-mental health. We are also disseminating evidence-based policy and research learning in creative ways, including in early September at a seminar in Geel, Belgium, which focused on e-health trends and development of apps in mental healthcare. If you have missed out on attending eMEN events so far, we have many upcoming seminars and conferences listed at the end of this newsletter, and they are all free to attend.

Combined expertise across the partners has supported our policy work, illustrated below by the French mental health and psychiatry political roadmap – a good example of how we aim to use the product pilots to influence policy and practice in European digital mental health.

 

What are we learning from product pilots? 

Clever ECAs in Dutch Moodbuster-study

Embodied conversational agents (ECAs) are computer-generated characters that simulate human-like behaviors to communicate with users. Can ECAs be used to bridge the gap between guided and unguided online interventions for mental health disorders? What is the effectiveness of ECAs used in internet interventions for the treatment of (light to mild) depression? Do they have a positive effect on rates of client adherence to treatment?

Simon Provoost, PhD student at VU University, decided to investigate the effectiveness of ECAs in online interventions for depression. He started his research with a literature study, and did not find much evidence. However, a second study showed unexpected results, and now it is time for a more sophisticated follow-up. Simon explains:

“ECAs have three necessary components: they need to have embodiment, they must interact with the participant (give simple feedback for example) and they have to act ‘clever’. This means it is not just that simple ‘smiley’ showing up at the end of a lesson, regardless of what you did - it is a smiley that for instance does something different when you take 20 seconds instead of five minutes to answer 10 questions. Our next step will be a study on the effectiveness for adherence of a more clever ECA. More than just ‘thumbs up’ or ‘well done!’, this ECA will respond to what participants have been doing in the intervention. It acts as a kind of functional agent, a virtual coach. For this study, which only will take place in The Netherlands, we are going to use a ‘light’ version of Moodbuster, developed for people with low mood, but not for people with actual depression. The main goal is to teach them certain techniques to attain more positive impulses.”

 

Wearables for mental health: The Carewear pilots 

The Expertise unit Psychology, Technology & Society and Mobilab of Thomas More University of Applied Sciences in Belgium recently completed the piloting of Carewear tools. Carewear is an intervention that combines wearables with an online platform, which will be implemented as a useful addition to depression treatment and employee assistance programmes (EAPs). A first pilot study with professionals in mental healthcare shows that, although some technical challenges require further attention, they are generally positive about its potential for give added value to care as usual.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that stress-related problems and depression are currently the most important challenges in mental healthcare. Technological innovations can provide novel means for ambulatory monitoring and raise awareness of these conditions. Wearables collect continuous and ecologically-valid physiological data that can provide information on both risk factors and the process of recovery in mental disorders. The Carewear project aims to validate an online platform that will allow healthcare professionals to use wearable data in their clinical practice.

Carewear focuses on the measurement of physical activity (including step count), stress situations, subjective state, resting heart rate and heart rate variability. Recently, professionals in our user group piloted the Carewear prototype for some handson experience with the tools, to assess their usability, and to help with debugging the platform. Preliminary qualitative analyses suggest that professionals indeed supported the idea that they could be a useful addition to current treatment protocols. Participants liked the approach of an online application where physiological data and self-report were combined, and the manuals were found to be clear and easy to use. 

However, they also encountered some technical challenges. Uploading the data from the wearable was a fairly difficult process since the Empatica E4 – the high-end wearable currently used in this study – does not have an API (Application Programming Interface). There were also some instances where data logging did not occur correctly. Finally, the professionals felt that working with the platform could sometimes be a bit cumbersome, and that the design of the interface could be more attractive. The input of the professionals is invaluable since we can now address some specific problems before starting to use the tools with clients. Additionally, more general remarks will be used to optimise the Carewear tools when we move from a validated prototype to a finished platform. 

Contact For more information on this project, feel free to reach out to Nele De Witte (nele.dw@ thomasmore.be). You can also follow our updates on twitter (@care_wear). 

 

e-Mental Health events in 2018

Trends and development of apps in mental healthcare (Geel, Belgium) 

On September 6th, after a warm summer, the Belgian eMen partners - Pulso and Thomas More University - welcomed everyone interested in “Trends and technical development of apps in mental healthcare” in Geel. During this half-day seminar, the audience was informed about the latest evolutions and more technical aspects of e-mental health developments.

The seminar was officially opened by the Thomas More University’s Director of Research, Dr. Joan De Boeck, followed by two interesting keynote presentations. The first keynote speaker, Prof. Dr. Kristof van Laerhoven (University of Siegen), presented “Smoking Detection as a Case Study for Monitoring Human Behaviours”, and the second keynote speaker, Artur Rocha (INESC TEC), provided an insight in the development of the Moodbuster application.

The keynote presentations were followed by a more hands-on session. The participants were invited to take part in workshops where existing applications were presented and demonstrated. As this seminar had a focus on the technical part of e-mental health, the workshops had a major focus on these aspects, more specifically: 
“How does an app empower youngsters to regulate tension and how does an app increase joy of living in vulnerable people?” by Wil Wintjens (Ivengi);
“Measurement of stress; subjective versus objective data” by Annelies Goris (IMEC);
“Innovative EAP Tools: EAP online, HappyCare & APPA Tool” by Charlotte Van den Broucke & Dirk Antonissen (Pulso); and 
“Wearable technology for mental health care: Outcomes and challenges within the carewear project” by Romy Sels & Nele De Witte (Thomas More).

 

How is e-mental health influencing European mental health policy? 

eMEN mentioned in the French mental health and psychiatry political roadmap 

This summer, the French Minister of Health and Social Affairs, Agnès Buzyn, together with the Secretary of State for Disabled Persons, Sophie Cluzel, presented the government’s roadmap for mental health and psychiatry (Feuille de route santé mentale et psychiatrie) for the next years. It includes – for the first time in history! – e-mental health and – we are proud to report it!! – the eMEN project.

The government’s new roadmap for mental health and psychiatry is a comprehensive plan to change the way we look at mental health and psychiatry, at mental health problems and at people directly or indirectly affected by such problems. The document also aims to promote empowerment, social inclusion and care access.

Mental health promotion and prevention are mentioned as one of the main axes of the roadmap and, in this framework, e-mental health is mentioned as a tool, a lever for action and a possible solution.

Indeed, the document states that digitalisation and innovation are at the heart of the digital transformation of the French health system. However, it also confirms that the use of e-mental health potential in France is one of the lowest in Europe. The roadmap therefore affirms its engagement with promoting e-mental health development and its support for initiatives such as the Interreg NWE eMEN project, whose efforts and work are highly welcomed.

 

The future of the Dutch mental health sector 

In July 2018 the main Dutch mental health stakeholders (including Mental Health Netherlands and the Ministry of Health) agreed on a joint ambition for mental health. This ambition clearly shows that the Dutch mental health landscape will change quickly in the coming years. There will be a strong focus on integrated care and care in the right place. The latter essentially means: prevent expensive care, provide care closer to home (if possible), provide more ambulant care and replace regular care with other support such as eHealth. 

The role of community support teams will increase further, as more care will be brought into the neighbourhood, closer to where people live. More mental health professionals will join these multidisciplinary teams in the coming year. Furthermore, people with lived experiences will become an integral part of the care structure. In addition, stakeholders will cooperate to develop a future-proof education system for mental health care - a system in which prevention (nutrition and lifestyle) and the use of eHealth are structurally embedded, alongside the mental health care standards. On the financial side there will be a focus on multi-annual agreements with insurance companies and lower administrative burdens. Care givers must provide relevant, effective and affordable quality care, and patients must be given clear choices. 

In 2019 a new reimbursement experiment will be implemented which supports a new achievement structure in which professionals who contribute most to the reduction of waiting lists will be covered by the insurance company, such as social workers and people with lived experience. The new funding structure will support correct and timely up- or down-grading of care and proper use of care.

In the meantime - before the new reimbursement system is in place - the National Care Authority will be asked how to reduce the incentive for delivering ineffective care and increase incentives for effective care. The new reimbursement system should become effective from January 1st 2020.

The future is coming; get ready!

Source: Onderhandelaarsakkoord Geestelijke Gezondheidszorg (GGZ) 2019 t/m 2022 (3juli 2018) “Toekomstbeeld / ambitie voor de GGZ) 

 

Upcoming FREE transnational seminars and conferences

Over the life of the project, eMEN is delivering 24 transnational events across Europe addressing e-mental health evidence-based innovations, quality, access and scale.

9th October: Dublin, Ireland

eMental Health: The Next Big Thing in Psychological Practice?

Mental Health Reform and the Psychological Society of Ireland are hosting a joint eMEN seminar focusing on the challenges and opportunities presented by technology-supported therapy for the future of mental health care. The seminar will be held on the 9th October 2018 in the Hilton Charlemont Hotel in Dublin and will be launched by the Irish Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly, T.D. Other confirmed speakers of the seminar include: Prof. Brian Hughes from NUI Galway, Prof. Youseff Shiban from University of Göttingen, Dr. Alison Darcy, the founder of Woebot and Dr. Marie Murray, University College Dublin.

The seminar will explore a variety of subjects including those that are growing in popularity, such as counselling over the phone or instant chat, and eTherapy mobile applications that show promise in supporting ongoing care and self-management for people with enduring mental health difficulties. Gaming applications used to support therapy and engagement for young people and virtual reality that has an important application in the treatment of phobias and anxiety will also be among the subjects discussed. Finally, the seminar will raise questions on the potential and the future of technology and psychology/psychotherapy: is it utopian or dystopian?

 

Future dates for your diaries:

29th November: Berlin, Germany

E-mental health in Europe: learning from our neighbours

11th December: Rennes, France

Ethical, juridical and quality dimensions of e-mental health tools and services

24th January: London, UK

Prevention with digital technologies: expanding the possibilities for better mental health

 

Share our animation!

Our eMEN animation is available at nweurope. eu/emen. It explains the concept of e-mental health and the many ways it can support mental wellbeing. We encourage you to share this with your networks, embed it in your website and use it in your presentations.

 

Why not join our transnational network?

eMEN is an e-mental health project running until November 2019, funded through the Interreg North West European Innovation Programme with a value of €5.36million. The six country partners are led by the Netherlands and include Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK, who together combine diverse technological, clinical, research, and policy expertise.
To receive updates on our future activities and connect to e-mental health stakeholders across Europe, we encourage you to register to join our network. 
We also welcome invitations to contribute to your event. Further contact information for all the partners is available at www.nweurope.eu/emen.

 

eMEN Summer Newsletter 2018

Welcome to the eMEN Summer newsletter, updating you on our progress and achievements across Europe in digital mental health technologies.

What is happening across the eMEN project?

Each partner is piloting an e-mental health product. The examples below illustrate some of the innovative approaches developing from our studies, which aim to address barriers to the uptake of e- mental health. We creatively disseminate evidence-based policy and research learnings from across our network, including through seminars taking place in May (Edinburgh, UK) and June (Düsseldorf, Germany). If you missed eMEN events so far, we have many upcoming seminars and conferences listed at the end of this newsletter. Combined expertise across the project has supported our policy work, with a coordinated approach to using product pilots to create an impact in the sphere of European digital mental health.

Why are product pilots important?

Throughout eMEN, each partner is testing an e-mental health product. The examples below illustrate some of the learnings from development and implementation of digital mental health products.

StopBlues is born!

The eMEN project is happy to announce the launch of the StopBlues website and apps, available for downloaded on the iTunes App and Google play stores. Every year in France 200,000 suicide attempts and 10,500 deaths by suicide are reported, almost three times more deaths than traffic accidents and likely underestimated due to taboos. Suicide prevention remains complex, and StopBlues aims to fill the "primary" prevention gap by giving the general population a free digital tool to manage psychological distress and destigmatise mental health problems.

StopBlues has been developed within the Printemps research project of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), with the support of the French national action plan against suicide and the eMEN project. The app and website aim to break isolation by informing on where to find help and providing solutions such as relaxation or positive psychology exercises. The project aims to study the effectiveness of StopBlues and its promotion strategy in the population, to identify the favourable conditions and the actors to involve for efficient e-health prevention intervention at the local level.

The main objective of the research project is to demonstrate the effectiveness of a mobile Internet intervention in primary suicide prevention including a smartphone application and associated website. A second objective is to study two promotion strategies: by local governments only and by local governments and general practitioners. Although health policies are not their direct responsibility, a considerable number of cities have begun to develop actions in favour of the health of their residents by following the movement launched by the World Health Organization (WHO), the WHO Healthy Cities, to involve municipal authorities in the implementation of health policies. Involvement by general practitioners in community-based approaches to depression and suicide prevention has also been found effective.

 

HappyCare - an online tool to promote resilience in your employees

Pulso Europe’s mission is to assist and guide organisations in developing and implementing their well-being strategies, policies and programmes. One way of doing so, is by implementing e-mental health tools such as HappyCare, an innovative, online application for self-testing, self-help, coaching and advice about mental resilience.

We can no longer deny it: work-related stress is increasingly more present within organisations. Moreover, it is expected to become the most prevalent cause of absenteeism and occupational disability. In short, if you feel good, you function better and research has shown that some strategies help you feel better about yourself. Pulso Europe developed HappyCare, an online tool to help increase mental resilience. Based on positive psychology, cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness and health psychology, these strategies are taught and improved via seven topics (live towards your goals, invest in relationships, think positively, be aware of yourself, live here and now, take control of your life and lead a healthy and active life). The topics contain exercises, testimonials, movies, advice and information on how to increase and retain mental resilience.

When piloting the tool, a significant increase in happiness score was found after 6 weeks of using the application, which lasted after 6 and even 18 months. The effect is slightly more pronounced in women compared to men. Furthermore, HappyCare was evaluated positively and considered useful by the user sample. In conclusion, HappyCare offers the possibility to work on long-term well-being and resilience via an online platform, in a pleasant, evidence-based way!

 

Recent eMEN events

Place based approaches to e-mental health (Edinburgh, UK)

On 24th May, the Mental Health Foundation with NHS Lothian ran a seminar looking at how e-mental health in different settings can help prevent mental health problems and provide support to people with unmet mental health needs. The day was chaired by Dr Donald MacIntyre, Associate Director of NHS 24.

The keynote speaker Dr Diane Pennington (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow) considered the internet as a virtual place where people can access e-mental healthcare, but which can also perpetuate social exclusion through the ‘digital divide’ where they are unable to access the technology due to cost and lack of knowledge or skills. Five workshops then explored what e-mental health has to offer to young people (schools and colleges), the criminal justice system (prisons), social isolation (rural communities), positive mental health practice (on the go), and interpersonal connections (clinical setting). Nigel Henderson (Penumbra) and Lucy Gunatillake (Mindfulness Everywhere) described the inception and development of their digital innovations, and potential barriers to implementation.

A panel discussion looked at emerging themes and barriers in place-based e-mental health and concluded that the advantage of e-mental health is its ability to extend mental health support to hard to reach groups. With a combination of presentations from those working in Scotland and knowledge and insights from other parts of the UK and other countries, the seminar shared learning and facilitated networking focused on current and new opportunities for e-mental health in Scotland.

 

E-Mental health implementation: the digital revolution in mental healthcare (Düsseldorf, Germany)

The Düsseldorf seminar on 11th June focused on the general framework necessary for the implementation of digital interventions in Germany. Around 120 participants joined the event hosted by the German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (DGPPN), the German Alliance on Mental Health (ABSG) and the LVR Institute for healthcare research (LVR-IVF). Renowned national and international speakers presented their knowledge on current research, gave practical insights in e-mental health routines and discussed prerequisites to implementation in Germany.

Prof. Heleen Riper (VU, Amsterdam) introduced e-mental health with an overview of the current state of the art. She said that high-quality digital applications can be effective interventions and contribute to closing gaps in psychosocial care, and therefore questioned why they haven’t yet been implemented in routine care in Germany. Karsten Knöppler (Managing Director, fbeta) identified the short development cycles of digital applications as a major challenge for the implementation of digital interventions into the healthcare system and called for new methods to evaluate these products. Dr. Susanne Klein (Head of Development, TK Care Management) reported positive experiences with a pilot project using internet-based interventions for people with mild to moderate depression. She emphasised that online interventions must meet high quality standards and be seen as an additional tool rather than a cost-effective alternative to routine care.

A best practice-session presented ideas from around Europe including the E-RECOVER portal (Prof. Martin Lambert, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf), Therapy 2.0 (Evelyn Schlenk), PRONIA (Prof. Eva Meisenzahl) and Interapy (Dr. Bart Schrieken). The final panel discussion included the President of the Federal Chamber of Psychotherapists, Dr. Ernst Dietrich Munz, and Dr. Franz Joseph Bartmann, President of the Medical Association Schleswig-Holstein and Chairman of the Telematics Committee of the German Medical Association. The consensus was that online-based interventions are an effective "tool" to enable better access to mental healthcare, and e-mental health applications can increase the range of mental health care services.

 

How is e-mental health viewed in policy around Europe?

Remote consultations easier in Germany through moderation of media in healthcare

The German professional code for physicians describes rights and duties of practitioners towards patients, colleagues and their professional associations – including the use of media in health care practice. This part of the professional code for physicians has been the focus of discussion especially on state level for some time. The state Baden-Württemberg for example, adapted its professional code on state level already in 2016 to enable research projects using remote consultation without prior personal contact - successfully. To date, several research projects or so-called “Modellprojekte” are in place in Baden-Württemberg.

During the 121st “Ärztetag” of the German Medical Association in May 2018, the German Medical Association decided to moderate the professional code for physicians on national level concerning the use of media. Before this, the professional code stated that communication via media is only allowed if there has been prior direct contact to the patient. This decision, which has been approved by the majority of the German Medical Association members, may have a signaling effect and can be seen as a step forward in facilitating use of digital health in German health care. However, whether the decision will be implemented by all medical associations at state level, remains to be seen.

Report shows digital technology can play an important role in Irish mental healthcare

‘eMental Health: State-of-the-Art & Opportunities for Ireland’ report by Kevin Cullen was launched by the Irish Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly, TD on the 16th May in the Science Gallery, Dublin. This eMEN stakeholder engagement event was attended by over 50 participants and stimulated discussion on the significant opportunities presented by eMental Healthcare alongside limitations and possible challenges for these types of interventions.

Director of Mental Health Reform, Shari McDaid, said, “Valuable opportunities exist to exploit eMental Health technologies within the mental healthcare system in Ireland… This report is rooted in Mental Health Reform’s value of empowerment of individuals who use mental health services, we are particularly interested in the possibilities digital technology can open up for people to take the lead in their own recovery.” The report considers eMental Health applications helpful for common mental health conditions, as well as those relevant for more severe and enduring difficulties. It highlights the range of technologies and applications encompassed within eMental Health, including teleconsultation (phone, video, instant chat), online and computer-based programmes (eTherapy), mobile apps, virtual reality, gaming, social media, wearables, and data analytics.

Please see the eMEN website for the full article including select report findings and recommendations, including the need for a dedicated strategy, inclusive stakeholder engagement, practitioner and user guidance and support for research and guidance in developing products.

The long-term outlook for e-mental health policy in Europe and beyond

In May 2018, RISE (Sweden) and The Mental Health Foundation (UK) hosted 19 guests from across the world for an intensive two-day match as a platform for their pioneering work. The aim was to harness the opportunity for knowledge sharing and co-production, towards future collaboration. The two days involved multiple presentations, followed by group workshops on the digital innovation presented. This levered structured feedback from a group that offered a pool of experience, knowledge and expertise. Workshops addressed how each innovation might be reframed and meet unforeseen barriers as well as exploring the potential to scale up the solution. The result of this strategy facilitated tangible, practical and workable solutions for all attendees.

A call for formally standardised definitions of terms such as prevention and e-mental health as prominent. Different actors, including health insurance specialists, clinical psychologists, researchers, entrepreneurs, policy makers, experts by experience, and non-profit organisations offered their perspective. Overall, it was agreed that mental health challenges pose the same demand and urgency globally, and our digital era must be better harnessed to safeguard the protection of mental health over and beyond the prevention of mental illness.

What’s next?

Upcoming FREE transnational seminars and conferences

Over the life of the project, eMEN will deliver 24 transnational events across Europe addressing e-mental health evidence-based innovations, quality, access and scale.

6th September

Geel, Belgium

Wearables.

9th October

Ireland

Tbc.

November

Berlin, Germany

e-Mental Health Policy in Europe: developing policy recommendations.

6th December

London, UK

Public Mental Health: the role of digital technologies in preventing mental health problems.

11th December

Rennes, France

Ethical, juridical and quality dimensions of e-mental health tools and services.

Share our animation!

The eMEN animation explains the concept of e-mental health and the many ways it can support mental wellbeing and is available at nweurope.eu/emen.

Why not join our transnational network?

eMEN is an e-mental health project running until November 2019, funded through the Interreg North West European Innovation Programme with a value of €5.36million. The six country partners are led by the Netherlands and include Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK who together combine diverse technological, clinical, research, and policy expertise.

To sign up for our newsletter and join the long-term network evolving out of eMEN, please fill in the registration form. We welcome invitations to contribute to your event. Further contact information for all the partners is available at www.nweurope.eu/emen.

eMEN Spring Newsletter 2018

Welcome to the eMEN Spring newsletter, updating you on our progress and achievements across Europe in digital mental health technologies.

What has happened so far in 2018?

Each partner is piloting an e-mental health product. The examples below illustrate some of the innovative approaches developing from our studies, which aim to address barriers to the uptake of e- mental health.

We are looking at creative ways of communicating evidence-based policy and research advances, including through our podcast series and animation. The third year of the eMEN project got off to a great start with three transnational events taking place in February (Belgium), March (France) and April (the Netherlands). If you missed these events, we have many upcoming seminars and conferences that are listed at the end of this newsletter.

Combined expertise has supported our policy work, illustrated below through the case study from Ireland. This shows our coordinated approach to using the product pilots to create an impact in the sphere of European digital mental health. To receive updates on our future activities and connect to e-mental health stakeholders across Europe, we encourage you to register to join our network.

 

What are we learning from e-mental health product pilots?

How can social media communication help test products?

In the second half of 2017, the first phase of the MIRROR pilot was implemented at Victim Support Netherlands, involving over 10,000 end-users. The MIRROR is a self-help test to take after experiencing a distressing event. It asks questions about PTSD symptoms, resilience and functioning to return tailored feedback with personal advice, including towards taking further steps if necessary.

Close cooperation with the SME/eHealth developer was required to implement the tailored modifications for the pilot. In order to publicise the self-help test to the relevant group, Victim Support Netherlands positioned the app prominently on their own website and initiated a Facebook campaign. Initially, the campaign text was 'In case of distressing events'. The result? Women particularly responded, whereas few men took the test.

The new Facebook campaign 'Real men do not cry' targeted men, who are generally very difficult to reach through completing self-help tests. However, adapting the text to 'Real men do not cry' succeeded! In the end, over 10,000 end-users were reached, with 55% of them being male.

Contact: For further information about this campaign, contact Elice Sijbrandij.

 

Heights in 360° VR video on YouTube

The Expertise Unit Psychology, Technology & Society of Thomas More University of Applied Sciences recently recorded a number of locations of variable height in 360° VR video as a contribution to using virtual spaces to help in the treatment of height phobia. The two Antwerp campuses, Sanderus and National, of Thomas More University of Applied Sciences, were used for scenes. The 13 locations were not chosen randomly, but were selected in the context of an internal pilot study.

Students Hans Vermeulen (internship) and Celine Moeskops (bachelor dissertation) explored how existing exposure therapy for fear of heights could be enrichened by low-threshold 360° VR video scenes. These videos are freely available on the expertise unit's YouTube channel. Each video includes a brief description, a height indication and an (estimated) indication of the level of difficulty. The goal is to expand this channel in the future and to also focus on how these and other, additional videos can be used as meaningful additions to the treatment of phobias. You can view the different scenes in different ways: via PC or smartphone, via Google Cardboard, or via Samsung Gear VR.

Contact: For more information on this project, feel free to contact Tom Van Daele.

 

Using different approaches to pilot an app

Moodbuster 2.0 is developed for people with mild depressive symptoms to be used by internet or mobile app, as both a stand-alone application or in a blended setting. The main goal is to empower users for better self-management.  The Mental Health Foundation is conducting a trial in Manchester for people with subclinical symptoms of depression, to look at whether the app is effective in preventing the onset of depression. In Belgium, the focus is on implementation, including which organisations, professionals and clients are willing to work with Moodbuster and how they use it. The trial will be run by Pulso Europe and the research units of Thomas More University of Applied Sciences: Mobilab and the Expertise Unit Psychology, Technology & Society, working with psychiatric hospitals and clinics. Further details on the pilots will be updated on the eMEN website.

 

How are we communicating the concept of using Digital Technology for Mental Health?

Share our animation!

Our new eMEN animation is now LIVE at nweurope.eu/emen. The animation explains the concept of e-mental health and how it can help improve our mental wellbeing. We encourage you to share this with your networks, embed it in your website and use it in your presentations.

 

Podcasts

eMEN is producing a series of podcasts looking at many different aspects of e-mental health. Follow our page on Soundcloud. The most recent podcast, with Professor Chris Gastmans, Head of the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law at KU Leuven, addresses patient-caregiver relationships in an ethical evaluation of e-mental health.

 

eMEN events so far in 2018

Online therapy?! Reflections from Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Ethical Issues

The second Belgian event on February 23rd was hosted by Pulso Europe and Thomas More University of Applied Sciences in Brussels and welcomed over 70 people.

After an introduction by Hilde Vandenhout, MD (Thomas More), three keynote lectures looked at challenges and opportunities when implementing technological applications in mental health care. More particularly, the focus of the seminar was inspired by the fact that not all mental health professionals and clients are aware of the opportunities offered by technological applications. They have questions about the product quality, ethics and deontology, but also about the conceptualisation of different forms of therapy and their online applications.

Please see the eMEN website for a full report on the seminar.

 

Active Citizenship and empowerment in community mental health - Participative innovations in France and abroad

This French conference on 29-30 March 2018 was part of the 5th international meeting of the WHO-Collaborating Centre of Lille. It was attended by more than 500 mental health service users, carers, researchers and SME (small and medium enterprise) representatives from around the world.

The second day was dedicated to the development of new technologies in mental health, their impact on   information-accessibility for users and the potential for their empowerment. After a presentation of the objectives and activities of the eMEN project, the morning plenary session addressed the question: ‘E-mental health - interest for the user and politico-economic stakes: does it match or not?’ A representative from the French national health conference, a mental health service user and a family carer who has developed an e-mental health tool energised the debate. A second plenary session investigated what users and health professionals think about e-mental health, presenting the results of the French study EQUME (Qualitative Study of the Expectations, Needs and Uses of M-Health - eHealth Technology in Mental Health - by All Stakeholders).

Different workshops based on the results of a call for communications included sessions related to e-mental health on the themes of  self-help, training and information, expression and exchange, and co-designing for e-mental health.

Please see the eMEN website for a full report on the conference and links to event YouTube videos.

 

How can e-mental health shape European mental health policy?

By looking at the policy context around Europe to engage policy makers, eMEN will have a long-term impact on the potential of e-mental health across Europe.

Innovation is the only way forward for Ireland’s mental health support system

The recent publication of the Children’s Rights Alliance’s annual report card on Ireland once again highlighted how demand for children’s mental health services is exceeding capacity, with more than 7,000 children waiting for an appointment with a primary care psychologist. As the national coalition advocating for better mental health services in Ireland, Mental Health Reform seeks innovative solutions to this urgent social problem. Digital technology has the potential to be a game-changer in two ways: first, by dramatically increasing the reach of mental health interventions and secondly, by empowering people in the process of their own mental health treatment.

There are a wide range of ways that technology is already being used for mental health support: online or app-based cognitive-behavioural therapy programmes (such as Aware’s Lifeskills Course), self-help apps, telepsychiatry utilising videoconferencing to enable distance consultation, computerised co-decision-making tools that give service users a greater voice in clinical meetings; telecounselling to provide therapy via videochat (MyMind), online platforms for social prescribing to help GPs refer people to community supports (Elementalsoftware.co), and the use of virtual reality and gaming technology as part of therapy such as Pesky gNATs.

Digital technology is also already playing a big role in prevention and stigma-reduction in Ireland through educational sites such as Spunout  and A Lust for Life, as well as in peer support through online support groups.

Of course, there are also many concerns about how digital technology, particularly social media platforms, may be negatively impacting on people’s mental health. How can privacy be secured for individuals who avail of digital technology as part of their treatment? How can we ensure that people are protected from harm on social media platforms? A good national policy on eMental Health is vital to ensure that technological developments foster these benefits and empower the individual user, while minimising the risks. That’s why Mental Health Reform is working to make sense of this diverse potential through our participation in the eMEN project. Learning from our peers across North West Europe will strengthen the development of Ireland’s eMental Health policy. Our participation will also help to ensure that developers’ interest in eMental Health is increased and that their efforts fit with the values of Ireland’s national mental health policy. In this way, the eMEN project will help mental Health Reform to support the best use of digital technology to boost mental health in Ireland and across North West Europe.

Read the full version of this article on the eMEN website.

 

Upcoming FREE transnational seminars and conferences

Over the life of the project, eMEN will deliver 24 transnational events across Europe addressing e-mental health evidence-based innovations, quality, access and scale.

24th May

Edinburgh, UK

Place-based approaches to the use of digital technologies for mental health. Please register online.

11th June

Düsseldorf, Germany

E-mental health implementation: the digital revolution in mental healthcare. The seminar in Germany addresses implementation issues and solutions of e-mental health for the German healthcare market around research and practice, quality and safety and best practice examples. A certification according to the German CME system has been applied for. Please register at www.dgppn.de.

September

Belgium

Wearables.

October

Germany

e-Mental Health Policy in Europe: developing policy recommendations.

October

Ireland

 

December

Rennes, France

Future developments in e-mental health.

December

London, UK

Public Mental Health: the role of digital technologies in preventing mental health problems.

Why not join our transnational network?

eMEN is an e-mental health project running until November 2019, funded through the Interreg North West European Innovation Programme with a value of €5.36million. The six country partners are led by the Netherlands and include Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK who together combine diverse technological, clinical, research, and policy expertise.

To sign up for our newsletter and join the long-term network evolving out of eMEN, please fill in the registration form. We welcome invitations to contribute to your event. Further contact information for all the partners is available at www.nweurope.eu/emen.

eMEN Spring Newsletter 2018 Download.

eMEN Winter Newsletter 2017

Welcome to the winter edition of the newsletter for the eMEN e-mental health project, funded through the Interreg North West European Innovation Programme. eMEN is a six country e-mental health project with a value of €5.36million (approximately £4.5million), which will run until November 2019. This project is being led by the Netherlands with partners in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK who combine technological, clinical, research, and policy expertise. Information and contact details for the partners are available on the project website.

What has been happening in 2017?

In 2017 the e-mental health innovation and transnational implementation platform North West Europe (eMEN) has been able to generate a lot of traction in the 6 partners countries, the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland.
One of the main objectives of this unique initiative is to gather and share e-mental health implementation knowledge and information. The eMEN co-operation platform will sustain this knowledge and will actively promote e-mental health in Europe by addressing the many multidisciplinary implementation challenges.

With our two conferences, four seminars, stakeholder meetings and (social) media activities in 2017 we have been able to reach thousands of professionals and citizens in Europe, creating a better understanding of different implementation challenges and cultural differences. eMEN organised the first e-mental health seminar in France on June 13th, following a first seminar also organised in Belfast on April 28th.

We also made an early and successful start with some of our product pilots, which are implemented in order to better learn about the many implementation challenges we are addressing in the eMEN project; such as product quality (clinical effectiveness, costs effective evaluation, privacy, CE compliance, 'look & feel'), product development (co-creation SMEs), awareness and acceptance, organisational priority, digital skills, eHealth policies, training and curricula and 'blended care' protocols.

This multidisciplinary approach contributes to the many positive reactions from different stakeholders. To move the implementation of this technology forward, all mental health stakeholders must work together.

The First eMEN Event in Germany

In October the first eMEN event in Germany took place within the context of the World Congress of Psychiatry in Berlin. About 180 people came together under the theme "Getting in touch with digital interventions for mental health: practical insights for health professionals”.

It aimed for an interdisciplinary exchange of health professionals and application providers. The audience consisted of health-professionals, start-up founders, students, other professionals and the interested public. Most of the visitors were health professionals and the majority were at least familiar with the topic.

The agenda comprised current research outcomes and implementation experience reports, as well as challenges and fields of work in internet interventions. A start-up slam was organised to support app developers. Our evaluation showed that the concept of the event was well received. Two thirds of participants were highly satisfied with the general course of the seminar. Suggestions for improvement relate to the organisation of breaks and the involvement of the audience after the presentation. Most popular were the presentations that showed the use of e-mental health in practice, like VR devices in psychotherapy. The highlight, however, was the start-up slam itself where applications and their handling were introduced. Seven SMEs had the possibility to introduce their product in a 5-minutes short presentation. In total 13 SMEs were provided with a stand so that participants could get in touch and get first insights in the different interventions.

The seminar was an opportunity to gain new insights in the field of e-mental health which was adopted with success. In the evaluation more than 50 % stated that their attitude towards e-mental health products and the likelihood of use improved. However, participants also see a long way to the widespread introduction of e-mental health products in practice. Barriers in the implementation are mainly seen in legal issues, reimbursement issues and data security. These are also fields of interest that remain for the upcoming seminars.

Transnational Policy Solution

One important output of the eMEN project will be the development of a transnational policy solution. The work package “Transnational policy solution for e-mental health implementation” is led by LVR-IVF in Germany and aims to enhance the implementation of quality assured e-mental health products through developing and actively promoting effective and workable policy solutions for the NWE countries.

The development of policy recommendations can be seen as a series of interrelated actions. At the beginning, all relevant national and European policy documents and other literature that is dealing with e-mental health implementation, projects or initiatives will be gathered, and the respective level of e-mental health development in the NWE countries will be analyzed. Subsequently, each participating country selects and interviews national and European experts in technology, policy and legal issues as well as representatives of patient (and their relatives), organizations, health professionals and health care providers.

In the past months, each partner country has therefore performed a literature review on scientific studies (national or regional), policy solutions, public documents, legislations and opinion papers concerning e-mental health. On the European level, relevant EU e-(mental) health policies and initiatives, such as the eHealth Network, the EU Green paper on mobile health, the Joint Action on Mental Health and Well-being and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), have been identified. On the national level, several initiatives and projects on e-mental health have been gathered, whereas policy documents addressing e-mental health are quite rare.

While this state of lacking policy documents, quality standards and regulations makes clear that a lot has yet to be achieved within the field of e-mental health, it remains a challenge to formulate a common ground for e-mental health implementation. Hence, each country is currently performing interviews with relevant stakeholder groups, aiming to set the ground for the development of a successful transnational policy solution. The gathered information will build the basis for the recommendations in the transnational policy solution, which will address challenges, differences and similarities on the national and transnational level, and will be actively promoted through meetings, seminars and conferences.

Are you interested in making a change and contributing to the development of the policy solution? Contact the eMEN project leader Oyono Vlijter via o.vlijter@arq.org or connect to the eMEN team on LinkedIn!

Interviews with experts

Over the course of the year we have recorded a handful of podcast interviews whilst at our events across Europe. They consist of discussions with experts working in the field of e-mental health.

The interviews largely examine current projects and accomplishments, for example; Reach out Australia (targeting the online mental health service for young people and their parents), Selfapy (online courses targeting depression, anxiety and eating disorders), The Wimingo Project (a self-guided program examining Shy Bladder Syndrome) and Bluebird Technologies (A smartphone app aimed at the prevention of psychological crisis’).

Other topics of focus include; digital innovations in health and social care (specifically focusing on participation, co-design and co-production), rehabilitation and cognitive remediation along with the mental health reform helping people understand and control the digital world.

The podcasts are available on our website and can be found at soundcloud.com/emen_eu

Join us

The eMEN partners will further develop the eMEN platform during the project phase. To confirm your interest you can join the eMEN platform by filling in the registration form on our website.

2018 will be an exciting year for eMEN because we will show the implement of our pilots with full speed and we will organise a large number of events to promote e-mental health.

Mental health care must be accessible and affordable for the growing number of European citizens which are dealing with mental health problems. We can achieve this with high quality e-mental health.

See you at our events in 2018!

Upcoming FREE transnational events

Each of the 6 countries will host one conference and three seminars: a total of 24 transnational events during the project. The 2017 events will introduce participants to e-mental health and showcase products. Together they will address all aspects of e-mental health to achieve evidence based innovation, quality, access and scale.

Belgium: 23 February ‘Ethics and Beyond CBT’

France (Lille): 30 March ‘New roles for therapists and the empowerment of service users’

Netherlands: April ‘e-mental health curriculum development and training for professionals’

Edinburgh: May ‘Place based approaches to the use of digital technologies for mental health’

Germany: June ‘e-Mental Health Policy in Europe: results from eMEN policy mapping’

Belgium: September ‘Wearables’

Germany: October ‘e-Mental Health Policy in Europe: developing policy recommendations’

Ireland: November

 France (Rennes): December ‘Future developments in e-mental health’

London: December ‘Public Mental Health: the role of digital technologies role in preventing mental health problems’

We welcome invitations to contribute to your event. Partner contact information for the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom is available at
http://www.nweurope.eu/emen.

 

eMEN Winter Newsletter 2017 download

eMEN Autumn Newsletter 2017

Welcome to the autumn edition of the newsletter for the eMEN e-mental health project, funded through the Interreg North West European Innovation Programme. eMEN is a six country e-mental health project with a value of €5.36million (approximately £4.5million), which will run until November 2019. This project is being led by the Netherlands with partners in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK who combine technological, clinical, research, and policy expertise. Information and contact details for the partners are available on the project website.

What is e-mental health?

E-mental health is “the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to support and improve mental health, including the use of online resources, social media and smartphone applications”.
eMEN will be showcasing the full range of digital technologies including: apps, virtual reality, wearable devices, online treatment modules and virtual real-time therapy.
eMEN has produced a series of podcasts discussing aspects of e-mental health with leaders in our partner countries.

Product Development Showcase

In our Summer newsletter we provided an update on the product selection phase of eMEN. We have now prepared an online Product Development Showcase of the selected products of which we think have great potential, even greater benefits and low(er) costs if implemented well. That’s where eMEN helps to progress the successful implementation of e-mental health at scale.

eMEN Cooperation Platform

Over the course of the project eMEN partners will build a sustainable cooperation platform to support the development and implementation of e-mental health in our partner countries, across Europe and globally. This will be an important legacy of our work together between the partners and with you. Members of the cooperation platform will include e-developers, service providers, people with experience mental health problems, clinicians, policy makers and researchers. Over the summer we have created a Cooperation Platform section to the eMEN website. More information is available from the eMEN Project Lead Oyono Vlijter o.vlijter@arq.org; and by connecting to us on LinkedIn.

‘Ready or not: The General Data Protection Regulation’ by Arq

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect from 25 May 2018 after a two-year transition period and is directly binding in all Member States. The UK has indicated that it will accept the GDPR despite Brexit. This means a huge operational change for European organisations to ensure compliance. They can no longer rely on national laws for their current policies and processing activities. The regulation is meant to unify data protection within the European Union and aims to simplify regulation and give control back to individuals over their personal data. It replaces the current Directive that has been in place since 1995.

What you need to know to be ready 

Awareness. Decision makers in organisations need to be aware of this change and identify how it will impact on current processes and services.

Rights of those concerned. The GDPR means more rights for those concerned. In addition to existing rights like public access there are new rights emphasising consent and accountability, which influences accessibility of data.

Overview of processing. Organisations need to have an instant overview of their data in order to be able to respond to the changing data environment at any given time.

Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). This instrument will be mandatory for data processing with an estimated high privacy risk in order to minimize those risks.

Privacy by design and privacy by default. Privacy by design means that the protection of data is taken into account at the start of the design. Privacy by default means technical and organisational steps have to be taken in order to make sure only data, which is fit purpose are processed.

The approach of Dutch Mental health organisation Emergis

A deliberate and proactive GDPR strategy and programme is recommended. Ad Koppejan
from Emergis, a Dutch mental health institution, gave an interesting presentation at the eMEN seminar in Amsterdam this July on their privacy regulation efforts.

An important conclusion of the Emergis approach is that information safety and privacy policy is not a one person job. It involves everybody, from frontline employee to top management. Their GDPR strategy involved:

• training and hiring skilled people,

• creating a working group on information safety,

• setting up a Dataleaks Platform and undertaking digital reporting to the Platform,

• undertaking a baseline risk analysis, and

• writing organisation policy.

This work has been supported by a communication plan that has driven activities including: workshops of managers, e-learning modules, speaking to employees, and creating posters.

Join us

Over the next three years eMEN will engage innovators, decision makers, clinicians and those with experience of using e-interventions personally. It is only through collaboration that
we will be able to realise the potential of technology to support and improve mental health across Europe.

• Follow eMEN on twitter @eMEN_EU

• Check updates and register for this newsletter at http://www.nweurope.eu/emen

• Connect on LinkedIn: for anyone who is interested in eMEN and / or international e-mental health implementation: https://www. linkedin.com/showcase/11104546/ (eMEN_EU)

• Join our LinkedIn Group: exclusively for people who want to join the eMEN platform: https:// www.linkedin.com/groups/13531032 (eMEN_ EU Platform)

• Come along to one of the conferences and seminars that will take place over the next three years.

Upcoming FREE transnational events

Each of the 6 countries will host one conference and three seminars: a total of 24 transnational events during the project. The 2017 events will introduce participants to e-mental health and showcase products. Together they will address all aspects of e-mental health to achieve evidence based innovation, quality, access and scale.

Dublin ‘Technology for Wellbeing’ #T4WB17

When: 16 November, 9.00 – 17.00

Where: The Hilton, Charlemont Place, Dublin 2

What: Highlights are keynotes by Clare Dillon from Microsoft Ireland, Dr Derek Richards from SilverCloud Health and Liza Davies from ReachOut Australia. Minister of State for Mental Health, Jim Daly, will open the conference. The event is organised in collaboration with ReachOut Ireland.

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/ technology-for-wellbeing-2017-t4wb17tickets-35430892754


In 2018, we are looking forward to a busy year of transnational events that will continue to develop e-mental health within Europe. Here is the current schedule.


Belgium: 23 February ‘Ethics and Beyond CBT’

France (Lille): 30 March ‘New roles for therapists and the empowerment of service users’

Netherlands: April ‘e-mental health curriculum development and training for professionals’

Edinburgh: May ‘Place based approaches to the use of digital technologies for mental health’

Germany: June ‘e-Mental Health Policy in Europe: results from eMEN policy mapping’

Belgium: September ‘Wearables’

Germany: October ‘e-Mental Health Policy in Europe: developing policy recommendations’

Ireland: November

France (Rennes): December ‘Future developments in e-mental health’

London: December ‘Public Mental Health: the role of digital technologies role in preventing mental health problems’


We welcome invitations to contribute to your event. Partner contact information for the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom is available at
http://www.nweurope.eu/emen.

 

eMEN Autumn Newsletter 2017 download

eMEN Summer Newsletter 2017

Welcome to the summer edition of the newsletter for the eMEN e-mental health project, funded through the Interreg North West European Innovation Programme.
eMEN is a six country e-mental health project with a value of €5.36million (approximately £4.5million), which will run until November 2019. This project is being led by the Netherlands with partners in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK who combine technological, clinical, research, and policy expertise. Information and contact details for the partners are available on the project website.

What is e-mental health?

E-mental health is “the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to support and improve mental health, including the use of online resources, social media and smartphone applications”. eMEN will be showcasing the full range of digital technologies including: apps, virtual reality, wearable devices, online treatment modules and virtual real-time therapy.

e-Mental Health in France

Compared to other North Western European countries, France appears to be a latecomer in terms of development and implementation of e-mental health. The willingness among mental health professionals to use e-mental health products and services is currently quite low. An online survey2 showed that only 21% of users reported a past or present consultation with a mental health professional during which they were signposted to a website; and 12% of the same users were advised about an app. With regards to national policy activity, the French Government presented its first national e-health strategy in summer 2016. E-mental health is not featured as a distinct area of work in this document and, more generally, policy makers and legislators have not yet addressed the issue in a coordinated way.

That being said, France has good potential for future uptake of e-mental health. The above-mentioned online survey showed that low penetration rate of smartphone and bad knowledge of IT are no longer a reality; and, therefore, do not represent an obstacle to m-Health development. Moreover, the survey results show that patients seem to trust physicians in the field of digital health. The development of e-mental health is being facilitated by several projects including eMEN.

The first seminar organized by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health of Lille, French partner in the eMEN project, will aim at showing what currently exists in France in terms of noteworthy e-health products and services. It will provide an opportunity for deeper reflection on the potential uses of e-mental health, and the related challenges and ethical issues, as well as on the possible development of the policy framework.

We are delighted to have an opening contribution by the French Ministry of Health and Social Affairs on the national e-health strategy 2020. The seminar will hear from a sociologist of mental health who will analyze the notion of e-mental health (often perceived as “nebulous” in France), and explain how e-mental health can be used in self-help, mental health treatment, research and education of mental health professionals. Another key-note will focus on the risks and ethical dilemmas that may arise from the use of e-mental health apps and services. The seminar will address key considerations of regulations and privacy concerns.

A number of French innovations will be presented:

• a web-based and mobile suicide prevention intervention in the general population conceived by the French National Institute for Medical Research;

• the Parisian hospital of Sainte-Anne’s use of new technologies for cognitive remediation;

• the use of telemedicine in geriatric psychiatry in Rennes (Brittany); and

• the use of web tools for mental health education and destigmatization.

Inspiring international innovation will be highlighted practices from other North Western European countries: a gamification example from Ireland (Pesky gNATS), a British app for the selfmanagement of anxiety (SAM App), and an ICT tool to screen PTSD from the Netherlands (SAM).

The seminar will take place in Paris on 13 June 2017. The detailed programme and information on the registration procedure are available here. Future eMEN events in France will be: “E-Mental Health: empowerment of users and a new role for the therapist” March 2018 - Lille; “Which future projects for e-mental health?” December 2018, Rennes; “How can e-mental health solutions participate in improving mental health services?” September 2019, Paris.

An Update on Product Selection

An important eMEN project deliverable is the development and testing of at least 5 e-mental health products, for depression, anxiety and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Through this activity eMEN will demonstrate how implementation can be done successfully. We will build on existing products because this project is about practical implementation of innovative technology. eMEN recognises that there are already many e-mental health products on the market but these have not led to their widespread uptake.

In first phase of the project (2016) a product selection checklist was developed to select the best products for further development and testing within the eMEN project. This unique checklist takes into account the different multidisciplinary implementation challenges such as: the required skills of professionals and end users, technical scalability, safety, privacy and impact. With regards to impact, eMEN partners have considered how the product would improve the situation of the professional and end user, the product’s fit within mental health systems, accessibility and affordability. This checklist underlines the fact that implementation is the biggest challenge for e-mental health, not the technology itself.

After an extensive mapping process in the partners countries a final selection of a maximum of products was made in February this year. These products were selected from an initial larger list of 18 products from different partner countries eMEN has to to deliver a minimum of 5 products by the end of the project period.

The product development and improvement process has started, and test sites are being identified. For each product we have to find a site and define how we are going to test and with whom. A number of products have been evaluated already in previous trails. At the moment, the eMEN partners are in contact with developers and potential pilots sites in Ireland, the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. At the end of 2017 the eMEN partners will start with the implementation of the pilots.

The eMEN test pilots are innovative because they focus on practical implementation and are based on an integrated approach. This integrated approach does not only focuses on product quality and interoperability with other platforms, but also on strategic cooperation with SMEs/developers (e.g. gaming industry), cost effective methods for assessing clinical effectiveness, improving acceptance by professionals, reimbursement systems and staff training / e-mental health curriculum development.

Please join our eMEN platform LinkedIn Group (details below) to share your knowledge about e-mental health implementation.

We are still looking for innovative, wellthought-out e-mental health programs that supplement and improve the treatment of mental illness for presentation at the startup slam.

Please send a brief description of your e-mental health product (e.g. Apps, online psychotherapy programs, etc.) and a link to the product and the company website to Julia Sander (j.sander@dgppn.de)

Join us

Over the next three years eMEN will engage innovators, decision makers, clinicians and those with experience of using e-interventions personally. It is only through collaboration that we will be able to realise the potential of technology to support and improve mental health across Europe.


• Follow eMEN on twitter @eMEN_EU

• Check updates and register for this newsletter at http://www.nweurope.eu/emen

• Connect on LinkedIn: for anyone who is interested in eMEN and / or international e-mental health implementation: https://www. linkedin.com/showcase/11104546/ (eMEN_EU)

• Join our LinkedIn Group: exclusively for people who want to join the eMEN platform: https:// www.linkedin.com/groups/13531032 (eMEN_ EU Platform)

• Come along to one of the conferences and seminars that will take place over the next three years.

Upcoming transnational events

Each of the 6 countries will host one conference and three seminars: a total of 24 transnational events. The 2017 events will introduce participants to e-mental health and showcase products. Together they will address all aspects of e-mental health to achieve evidence based innovation, quality, access and scale.

Paris: 13 June 2017

‘State of the art in e-mental health in France and Europe’

FIAP Jean Monnet - 30 Rue Cabanis, 75014 Paris

To Register: go to the eMEN website ‘Events’.


Amsterdam: 11 July 2017

‘e-mental health implementation: technical, quality and privacy issues’

Hilton Hotel Amsterdam, Apollolaan 138, 1077 BG

To Register: http://academy.arq.org/eMen


Berlin: 12 October 2017

‘Getting in touch with digital interventions for mental health: practical insights for health professionals’


Dublin: 16 November 2017

Further information on eMEN website and twitter.


We welcome invitations to contribute to your event. Partner contact information for the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom is available at http:// www.nweurope.eu/emen.

 

eMEN Summer Newsletter 2017

eMEN Spring Newsletter 2017

Welcome

Welcome to the first edition of the newsletter for the eMEN e-mental health project, funded through the Interreg North West European Innovation Programme.

eMEN is a six country e-mental health project with a value of €5.36million (approximately £4.5million), which will run until November 2019. This project is being led by Arq in the Netherlands with partners in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK who combine technological, clinical, research, and policy expertise. Information and contact details for the partners are available on the project website: nweurope.eu/emen.

The project will focus on developing an evaluation tool for e-mental health interventions, and use this to test options. The partners will then shape a tailored policy agenda to embed e-mental health in each partner country and convene expert working groups, seminars and conferences on key aspects of e-mental health.

eMEN will undertake a unique combination of activities across research, product development, policy and communications, and create a legacy transnational e-mental health platform. Our ambition is to improve the quality, accessibility and use of e-mental health so that it is a resource for mental health care, peer support and selfmanagement. We believe that digital technology can make a significant contribution in enhancing public understanding of mental health as well as all stages of mental health support: screening, assessment, early intervention, treatment and recovery.

eMEN held its launch conference in Mechelen, Belgium in February 2017 - for more details of the event, please go to our website.

What is e-mental health?

E-mental health is “the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to support and improve mental health, including the use of online resources, social media and smartphone applications”.

There is a growing evidence-base and overall awareness of the scale of mental health challenges across Europe. In response, there is broad recognition that not only do services need to be adequately available to meet growing demand, but countries need to look upstream towards prevention measures and approaches that empower people to self-manage their mental health and support their peers.

High quality and innovative technologies can support this prevention agenda as well as substantially contributing to making sure the right support is available, accessible, appropriate and affordable for all. The ambitions of eMEN are to increase the uptake and quality of e-mental health at the same time as reducing unmet mental health needs across Europe. eMEN will be showcasing the full range of technologies including: apps, virtual reality, wearable devices, online treatment modules and virtual real-time therapy.

The project will support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across North-Western Europe, who are global leaders in the field of e-mental health development, to unlock the massive market potential of e-mental health and support the growing evidence base that demonstrates the merits of early intervention and peer support.

What will eMEN deliver?

The project will coordinate 24 transnational events that will provide learning and engagement opportunities for stakeholders across Europe, including:

• 6-9 high quality e-mental health products, further developed and tested as good practice for prevention, treatment and/or aftercare for depression, anxiety and PTSD / psycho trauma.

• At least 1 new cost effective short duration research method for testing e-interventions.

• 15 SMEs receiving dedicated support and engagement with e-mental health developers across the 6 countries.

• 1 transnational cooperation platform for e-mental health knowledge, innovation, development, testing, implementation and exchange of implementation expertise.

What are the benefits of getting involved in eMEN?

The average use of e-mental health within the partner countries is 8% (the lowest being France at 1% and the highest the Netherlands at 15%). The aim is to increase the average use across member countries to 15% by the end of the project, by at least 25% five years after the project finishes, and by 60% 10 years after the project finishes. In addition to this, the project will look to:

• Improve access to international e-mental health innovation, testing and implementation.

• Enhance knowledge and practical guidance about the implementation of e-mental health services.

• Enterprise opportunities for SMEs and e-developers.

• Create a knowledge exchange and network development with e-mental health leaders.

• Identify opportunities to develop the capability of health and social care workforces.

• Develop a more effective and large scale takeup of e-mental health therapy.

• Shape and promote a sustainable e-mental health policy agenda for governments.

Join us

Over the next three years eMEN will engage innovators, decision makers, clinicians and those with experience of using e-interventions personally. It is only through collaboration that we will be able to realise the potential of technology to support and improve mental health across Europe.

• Follow eMEN on twitter @eMEN_EU

• Check updates and register for this newsletter at http://www.nweurope.eu/emen

• Come along to one of the 24 conferences and seminars that will take place over the next three years.

Upcoming transnational events

Each of the 6 countries will host one conference and three seminars: a total of 24 transnational events. The 2017 events will introduce participants to e-mental health and showcase products. Together they will address all aspects of e-mental health to achieve evidence based innovation, quality, access and scale.

Belfast: 28 April 2017

‘Achieving mental health for all: how do we ensure equitable access to e-mental health?’ Register here

Paris: 13 June 2017

‘State of the art in e-mental health in France and Europe’


Amsterdam: 11 July 2017

“e-mental health implementation: technical, quality and privacy issues”


Berlin: 12 October 2017

“Getting in touch with digital interventions for mental health: practical insights for health professionals”


We welcome invitations to contribute to your event. Partner contact information for the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom is available at http:// www.nweurope.eu/emen.

 

eMEN Spring Newsletter 2017 download

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