Amwell’s SilverCloud Health Unveils Digital Mental Health Resources for Families at HIMSS
Effectively treating children with mental health issues usually requires parental involvement. However, mental health care options for the whole family may be limited. To help fill these gaps in mental health care, SilverCloud Health, part of Amwell, has rolled out a new digital suite of programs that the company says will address family mental health needs. The company unveiled the service at the HIMSS Global Health Conference and Expo in Orlando this week.
“Mental health in the United States is quite a fractured and complicated system,” Luke Raymond, head of the US health systems strategic business unit for Boston-based SilverCloud Health, said in an interview with HIMSS22. “It’s difficult to access and difficult for families to understand.”
Digital mental health solutions have exploded during the pandemic as social isolation has led to depression in anxious adults and children. But access to mental health specialists has been difficult, especially with long wait times to see a psychiatrist.
As an alternative, digital mental health solutions allow people to get the support they need when and where they need it, said Raymond, who trained as a counsellor. Specifically, SilverCloud’s new offering includes programs, content, interactive tools and videos aimed at addressing family mental health.
This includes helping parents-to-be and new parents who have mood issues during pregnancy or after the birth of a child. Through internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy, new parents can learn to better understand their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and implement positive changes. The aim is to support the well-being of parents from conception until one year after the birth of a child, according to the company.
Virtual educational resources and cognitive behavioral therapy strategies are also offered to help parents of children and teens with anxiety and depression, which have increased during the pandemic.
One of the six course offerings in the Family Support Suite is “Supporting an Anxious Child.” The course is designed to help caregivers of children aged 5-11 who are dealing with worry and anxiety, while also offering helpful strategies that parents can use to deal with their own anxiety. The program incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy like education around their mental health issues and relaxation with the goal of enabling the child to identify their anxiety and apply their skills in anxiety-provoking situations, according to Silver Cloud.
Teenagers can also directly access digital resources.
“We have specially designed programs and content (for the needs of children and families) that they can access that can help them manage their depression and anxiety,” Raymond said. “It’s all based on cognitive behavioral therapy, which is the most evidence-based type of intervention for depression, anxiety, and stress.”
The new family programs, tools and videos have been tested by MemorialCare, an integrated primary and behavioral health care provider in California.
“SilverCloud Health’s approach to helping our patients build the skills they need to succeed long after the program is over is critically important,” said Dr. Mark Schafer, CEO of MemorialCare Medical Group, in a statement. communicated.
Photo: Alisa Zahoruiko, Getty Images