Mental health service providers join forces to treat problem drinking

A digital mental health platform has formed a partnership with a national mental health provider and substance misuse services which forms part of the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to develop a programme to treat problem drinking.

SilverCloud Health and Inclusion will develop an online programme. Part of the NHS Long Term Plan aims to increase the number of alcohol care teams, to improve continuity of care and to create a better interface between NHS, local authority and public health initiatives.

It aims to reduce the burden on the NHS, in the form of alcohol-related A&E visits and an increased risk of developing other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and liver disease.

Dr Lloyd Humphreys, head of Europe for SilverCloud Health said: “Alcohol is a pervasive issue for many with mental health problems and is now receiving attention from the secretary of state for health and social care in the NHS Long Term Plan. This latest addition to our platform will help many people actively address some of the contributing factors to their emotional wellbeing and reduce the delays in receiving evidence-based treatment.”

The role of digital therapy is a common theme throughout the NHS Long Term Plan, and it also highlights the importance of technology-enabled care for people with alcohol issues, particularly in behavioural change.

SilverCloud Health will be adding the Inclusion alcohol programme to its library of more than 30 programmes and modules.

It is hoped that this latest programme will reduce the number of people being referred to multiple services due to existing exclusion criteria around drinking and enable them to receive continuity of care through the platform.

Danny Hames, head of Inclusion and sexual health, said: “Inclusion has developed robust protocols for addressing alcohol problems with service users. Through our face-to-face services, we exceed the national average with regards to successfully treating those with problematic alcohol use.

“We are excited to take these and translate them in to the digital platform provided by SilverCloud. This latest development highlights the cutting-edge service delivery model that Inclusion provides at a national level, and our mission to meet as much need as possible. This programme will be rolled-out to all our services in a phased way.”