Recently I attended the launch of MindTech – a Healthcare Technology Co-operative (HTC) based in Nottingham which will develop and test digital technologies in mental health care. There is clearly tons of energy and a momentum building for digital in mental health but the range of apps and other digital tools can be bewildering. Where do you even start?
In Leeds we hope to make sense of it all through #DigiHealthLab – a new locally funded initiative that aims make a positive difference to people experiencing mental health difficulties in my home city. I’ve introduced #DigiHealthLab in a previous post which you can find here.
Over the next year (and possibly more) #DigiHealthLab will explore the use of digital tools in mental health services. Our lab will bring people together to test out how digital can play a role in improving experience and outcomes. It might be about procuring existing digital products that are already out there or it might be about developing something from scratch – who knows!
Working together collaboratively
We do know that co-design will be at the heart of our approach – I’m really excited about the opportunity to collaborate with people accessing services and practitioners from the outset – a proper team effort from start to finish and one which I believe will be critical to how successful we are.
Who we’ll be working with
We plan to begin by collaborating with small teams made up of people using and working in the Yorkshire Centre for Eating Disorders, Chronic Fatigue Service and a Community Mental Health Team. But we are keen to know who else is thinking digital – so If you either access or work in a mental health service in Leeds and want to find out how to get involved, please do get in touch with me.
Other partners include the University of Leeds, Leeds Involving People and the Leeds Wellbeing Web and we have a fantastic project board to keep us on track, including our sponsor North Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group.
Can you offer support to #DigiHealthLab?
If you are designer or developer, or have other relevant expertise, along with a passion for improving mental health and NHS services then we’d love to hear from you. We are looking for people who can support our lab with an independent eye, tons of enthusiasm, and who aren’t tied to a particular digital product or service.
We will be developing our own #DigiHealthLab blog to keep a record of our journey and share learning as we go. In the meantime, if you’d like to get in touch you can contact me Victoria.firstname.lastname@example.org