eMental Health technologies are an important part of the future of mental health services in Ireland and can complement person centered, face-to-face therapies, a seminar has heard today. The event entitled, eMental Health: The Next Big Thing in Psychological Practice? was hosted by Mental Health Reform and the Psychological Society of Ireland as part of the eMEN project, an Interreg North West Europe and HSE funded project aiming to improve mental health in Europe through increased use of eMental Health interventions. Attracting a range of national and international expert speakers, the seminar was addressed by Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly, T.D.

Speaking at the event, Director of Mental Health Reform, Shari McDaid, said, “eMental Health technologies present valuable opportunities within the mental healthcare system in Ireland and elsewhere. These types of technologies offer people easier and potentially faster access to mental health services, and increased choice and control over their own treatment. Mental Health Reform firmly believes in empowering individuals who use mental health services, and we are particularly interested in the possibilities digital technology can open up for people to take the lead in their own recovery.”

Terri Morrissey, CEO of the Psychological Society of Ireland, said, “The PSI is delighted to co present this conference on eMental Health. The PSI core values include evidence based and scientific psychological knowledge in practice. Our speakers address the evidence for the efficacy of various therapies, including e therapy approaches. It is important, that as psychologists, we are all able to stand over our practices in working with clients whether it be face-to-face or online. Hopefully this conference will open up further the discussion on these issues, including the potential for access, reach and inclusion opportunities.”

Speaking to the broader Irish context, Clinical Psychologist and PSI member, Dr Marie Murray, said, “Technology cannot become a cheap alternative to effective political intervention to provide services that, not only support those that are suffering from depression, anxiety and despair, but that seek to address the societal factors that may cause such distress in the first place.”

The seminar has been organised by Mental Health Reform and the Psychological Society of Ireland as part of the eMEN project, a six country European Union project, funded by the Interreg North-West Europe Programme and the HSE in Ireland. Mental Health Reform is the sole Irish partner in eMEN.

This seminar is part of the eMEN project – funded by Interreg North West Europe and the HSE

Speakers at the conference included: Prof. Brian Hughes from NUI Galway, Prof. Youseff Shiban from University of Göttingen, expert on virtual reality in clinical practice, Dr Alison Darcy, the founder of Woebot, and Dr Marie Murray, Series Editor of the new MindYourSelf Health Series Cork University Press to be launched in 2019

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