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.
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.