There has been significant progression of the eMental health field in Ireland during 2018. Overall, we can see a growing coherence in activity focusing on leveraging eMental health’s potential to address specific challenges in the mental healthcare system, and also on supporting broader improvement in the quality, range and reach of mental health services and supports. This involves an increasing coming-together of ‘top-down’ initiatives (from the Minister of State for Mental Health, Department of Health, HSE and other players) and ‘bottom-up’ activities (including development/deployment of eMental health by third sector mental health providers, as well as clinician-led eMental health innovation).
The HSE’s project Developing Digital Mental Health Supports in Ireland is a key vehicle for progressing eMental health within the mainstream mental health services and supports system. This has been developing a number of eMental health initiatives, including online information & sign-posting, telepsychiatry, telecounselling, and a crisis text service.
eMEN has become an important contributor to developments in Ireland. A core element of this is its support work with two eMental health product development and piloting programmes – eWELL and Pesky gNATs. The communications and awareness activities have also been influential. This includes the launch of a state-of-the-art report in eMental health and its potential contribution in Ireland, as well as a major seminar on eMental health in psychological practice organised by eMEN with the main professional Body (Psychological Society of Ireland).