Ministers Harris and Daly open ‘Changing Direction’ Conference – Augmenting Mental Health Services
Minister for Health Simon Harris TD and Minister for Mental Health Jim Daly TD today (Monday) opened the ‘Changing Direction’ Conference in the Convention Centre in Dublin.
The purpose of the conference is to begin a nationwide discussion about how best to use digital technology to augment the delivery of mental health care services in Ireland.
The use of digital technology in healthcare is expanding globally and several models of tele-therapeutic interventions already provide support to people worldwide. Evidence suggests that these programmes are effective. Technology allows for greater access to services for more people and shows great potential for developing professional capacity.
In Ireland, the use of tele-therapies has the potential to deliver high quality interventions that could augment existing services.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Harris said: “Tele-therapy solutions offer considerable potential because they can offer varied support options to people with mental health conditions, allowing them to engage in self-help programmes, online peer support and online treatment pathways with qualified clinicians”.
Minister Daly said: “The advantages of using technology to positively engage with those experiencing poor mental health are well worth considering. There is an onus on both policy makers and service providers to explore the merits of modern technology, and to determine the possible benefits for patients.”
Changing Direction encourages dialogue to see just what is possible in the delivery and roll out of online mental health supports. It hoped that in the coming months a pilot project will be developed to ascertain the merits and feasibility of implementing tele-therapy programmes nationally.
Read the programme for the conference here.