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Gwent health board tests telepsychiatry


Mark Say Managing Editor

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A healthcare organisation in Gwent is leading a project to provide young people with psychiatric support through video conferencing.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board is running the project until March of next year with the support of The Health Foundation charity.

It is aimed at reducing the waiting times and removing the need for travelling distances for young people who self-harm or have eating disorders.

The Health Foundation said the board’s child and adolescent mental health service (CAHMS) teams are being trained to use telepsychiatry so they feel comfortable providing remote consultations. This include guidelines on issues such as consent, interview setting and management, and back-up arrangements in the event of the technology failing or patients becoming distressed.

They are also providing input into case reviews and multidisciplinary team meetings for patients in hospitals.

The move is part of a trend towards providing mental health services through online channels. Earlier this month Scotland’s NHS 24 indicated it is planning to make cognitive behavioural therapy available through its public portal, and the Scottish Government recently outlined plans for online mental health services within its work programme for the year.

Health and wellbeing toolkit

Aneurin Bevan Health Board has also developed a new online health and wellbeing resource for young people in the region. It is aimed at youth workers and others who provide public health messages, and offers practical information and lesson plans on areas including emotional wellbeing, sexual health, alcohol and drugs.

The toolkit has been produced by Aneurin Bevan Gwent Public Health Team in conjunction with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and the Youth Service.

Paul O’Neill, senior youth work manager at Caerphilly County Borough Council, said: “Youth workers are excited at the prospect of this updated and online resource which will provide them with relevant information about the topic areas and also with ideas for delivering different types of activities."

Image from iStock, Krystian Nawrocki

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