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COVID-19 Information and Guidance

The West London Clinical Commissioning Group have issued the following COVID-19 information and guidance.

Visit WWW.GOV.UK

For up-to-date information on Coronavirus symptoms and guidance and what this means for you, your family and friends.

Key messages

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • Sign up to be an NHS Volunteer: www.goodsamapp.org/NHS

Keep checking the GOV.UK website as information changes

Live in Kensington and Chelsea?

Check your local Council’s website and search Coronavirus for the latest information on what’s happening in the borough.

If you’re a resident and would like to help support a community response, visit www.voluntarywork.org.uk for more information and to register as a volunteer.

Local voluntary sector organisations can visit kcsc.org.uk for further support and guidance.

Live in Westminster?

Check your local Council’s website for regular updates on what’s happening in your area.

Visit onewestminster.org.uk to find out about local volunteer opportunities and the support available for voluntary sector organisations.

Helpful resources

 

 

 


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 26th March 2020


Food and Mood: how diet affects your mental health

Woman grabbing food from the fridge

We often link our diet and what we eat to our physical health, but did you know that it also affects your mental health and wellbeing?

Having a healthy, balanced diet rich in protein, nutrients and vegetables could be the key to raising energy levels, improving your ability to concentrate and focus, bettering digestion and releasing amino acids, the chemicals your brain needs to regulate your thoughts and feelings.

By incorporating some or all of these tips into your diet, you may find an improvement to your mood, mental health and wellbeing.

Eating regularly

If you’re not eating regularly, you may find your blood sugar level drops. This can cause you to feel tired, irritable and depressed. Eating regularly and choosing foods that release energy slowly, such as pasta, rice and oats, will help to keep your sugar levels steady.

Staying hydrated

If you don’t drink enoiugh fluids, you may find it difficult to concentrate or think clearly. This may also affect your bowels, which puts no one in a good mood. Drink the recommended six to eight glasses of fluids a day. Water is the best option but tea, coffee and smoothies also count as an intake. Be mindful though that these contain caffeine and sugar!

Looking after your gut

Research has shown that your gut reflects how you are feeling emotionally. Your gut slows down or speeds up if you’re stressed or anxious. For healthy digestion, you need to have plenty of fiber and fluid and you need to exercise regularly. Healthy gut foods include fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Managing caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant which means it will give you a big burst of energy but it may make you feel anxious and depressed, disturb your sleep (especially if you have it before bed), or give you withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly. Try limiting the amount of caffeine you have a day or avoid it altogether and you might find you feel noticeably better.

Getting your five-a-day

Vegetables and fruit contain a lot of the minerals, vitamins and fibre we need to keep us physically and mentally healthy. Eating a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables every day means you’ll get a good range of nutrients. Fresh, frozen, tinned, dried and juiced (one glass) fruits and vegetables all count towards your five-a-day.

Getting enough protein

Protein is important as it contains amino acids which make up the chemicals your brain needs to regulate your thoughts and feelings. It also helps keep you feeling fuller for longer. You can find protein in lean meat, fish, eggs, cheese and legumes (peas, beans and lentils).

Eating the right fats

Rather than avoiding all fats, it’s important to eat the rights ones. Your brain needs fatty acids such as omega-3 or -6 to keep it working well. You can find healthy fats in oily fish, poultry, avocados and eggs.

There are many ways that foods can affect how we feel, just as how we feel has an influence on what foods we choose. Some of the food/mood effects are due to nutrient content, but a lot of effects are due to existing associations of foods with pleasure and reward (chocolate) or diet and deprivation (plain foods).

This story was originally published in the Winter 2020 Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well, Primary Care Liaison Nurses
Posted on: 12th March 2020


Help us shape your mental health services

Happy group discussion on shaping mental health services

Want to help review and shape your mental health services in your community of Kensington & Chelsea and Queen’s Park & Paddington?

We are committed to collaborating on shaping the future of mental health services in our community and would value your involvement.

You’ll be compensated for the time that you can contribute to this project.

What is it?

West London Clinical Commissioning Group, Central North West London NHS Trust and The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Local Authority are looking for service users, carers, friends and family to get involved in collaboratively working together to re-shape your mental health services in our local community of Kensington & Chelsea and Queens Park and Paddington. This covers health and social care services that are in your local area.

A workshop and refreshment session to introduce people who are interested to the Integration Programme will be held next week. Here are the details:

Date: Friday 20 March 2020

Time: 1.30pm to 4.00pm

Venue: Bay 20, 71 St Marks Road, London W10 6JG

How can I help?

Groups are scheduled to take place and will meet on a regular basis at a place that is local in Kensington & Chelsea and the Queen’s Park & Paddington area.

How do I get involved?

If you’d like to get involved, or if you want more information about the work we’re doing, then we would love to hear from you. Get in touch to find out more:

Phone: 020 3317 4328

Email: [email protected]


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 10th March 2020


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

When the days get shorter, darker and colder, you may feel a dip in your mood. It’s common to feel affected by changes in the weather and seasons – we all have certain times of year that we enjoy more or less than others, for a variety of reasons. You might find your mood changes when the weather gets colder or warmer, or notice changes in your energy levels, sleeping patterns or eating habits. If these feelings are interfering with your day-to-day life, it could be a sign that you have depression. And if they keep coming back at the same time of the year, it might be a sign that you have seasonal affective disorder (SAD) otherwise known as ‘seasonal depression’.

What is SAD?

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is sometimes known as ‘winter depression’ or ‘winter blues’ because the symptoms are usually more apparent and severe during the winter. Some people with SAD may have symptoms during the summer and feel better during the winter.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of SAD can include:

• a persistent low mood

• a loss of pleasure or interest in everyday activities

• irritability

• feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness

• feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day

• sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning

• craving carbohydrates and gaining weight

For some people, these symptoms can have a significant impact on their day-to-day activities.

How can I treat the symptoms?

There are some things you can do yourself to improve your mood during winter SAD.

Get natural sunlight. Get outside in the natural light as much as possible as it can help boost your mood or sit next to the window to let sunlight in.

Stay active. Regular exercise can help with symptoms of low mood and depression as it releases serotonin and endorphins.

Connect with others. Winter can make us feel more isolated than usual so make time to connect with others through a phone call, email, text or meet up face-to-face.

Have things to look forward to. Whether it’s a coffee with a friend, or the thought of spring coming, try to keep positive by having something to look forward to.

Pick up a new hobby. If winter means you tend to stay indoors more, keeping busy with new hobbies can help keep your mind active. Why not pick up a book and read or learn how to knit?

Get cosy. Embrace the cold by getting into warm, comfy PJs and enjoying a hot cuppa and take in the warmth. Remember, the cold won’t last forever!

What causes SAD?

Causes of SAD isn’t fully understood however it’s often linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days. There is some evidence to suggest the following:

• increase in the body’s level of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleepwake cycle. This makes people feel sleepier and more lethargic.

• irregular production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that influences mood and,

• less production of Vitamin D, which is needed for the production of serotonin.

If it doesn’t get better…

You should consider seeing your GP if you’re struggling to cope. Your GP will carry out an assessment by asking you questions about your mood, lifestyle, eating habits and sleeping patterns, plus any changes in your thoughts and behaviours. After the assessment, your GP will recommend the most suitable treatment programme for you.

The main types of treatments are:

Lifestyle measures – including getting as much natural sunlight as possible such as a brief lunchtime walk, exercising regularly and managing your stress levels

Light therapy – using a special lamp called a light box, which gives off a strong white or blue light, this simulates exposure to sunlight.

Antidepressant medication

Talking therapies – such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or counselling.

This story was originally published in the Winter 2020 Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 3rd March 2020


Talking to Matt Waters from the West London CCG

Quote by West London CCG Mental Health Delivery Manager Matt Waters

West London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is responsible for planning and buying health services for people registered with a GP in Kensington & Chelsea and Queens Park and Paddington. The organisation is made up of GP and health professional members.

The West London CCG not only commissions Community Living Well (CLW); they also work with CLW providers to ensure you have coordinated access to mental and physical health care and social wellbeing support.

We spoke to West London CCG’s Mental Health Delivery Manager, Matt Waters, who joined us last year in July, about his role and what is on the horizon for CLW and the CCG.

How did you get involved with CLW?

The opportunity came up and I was really interested as I felt that CLW promoted the ethos of integrated and collaborative approaches that I had previous experience of and wanted to develop further. I was especially keen to work in, and develop, NHS services because I feel it is a great institution that everyone in the UK should be proud of but we must also recognise that it can’t always do everything and be all things to everyone. To meet the needs of people in our local communities, it’s important to work with partners in the Voluntary Sector and Social care to develop holistic, wrap around services for service users and carers.

What does your role entail?

I’m responsible for managing the contracts and relationships with our Voluntary Sector partners who work within the Community Living Well network. I also look at the performance of the services and review the quality of what is delivered to ensure that the needs of the local communities are being met and considered whilst making sure that NHS resources and public money is being used appropriately and in the most effective way.

Have you always worked in the mental health sector?

I’ve worked in the mental health sector for a number of years now, both in inpatient settings and the community. I started my professional life as a Mental Health and Mental Capacity advocate in North West England. From there I worked in secure Forensic hospitals as well as general adult services as part of the respective psychology and medical teams. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing professionals and service users who I have learnt a lot from that I feel has benefitted my practice.

What do you hope to achieve during your time here?

I want to gain a better insight into what the communities we serve actually need and want. I am keen to build on the great work that has been done and further championing the voice of service users, carers and members of the public to ensure that we continue to develop and deliver the best quality services that we can.

What do you enjoy about working for CLW?

Working in CLW is a great opportunity to work with a variety of people and professionals in order to come together and ensure that we design and deliver the services that our local communities actually want and need. I like that all staff, service users, carers or members of the public are considered and given a voice to represent their views which can be a challenge but, ensures that CLW continues to evolve and we have to think about different and innovative ways of working.

What is on the horizon for CLW?

The main development for CLW in the immediate future is about how we can make sure that mental health services provided by both CLW and the Community Mental Health Teams can work together in a more joined up way to ensure that people get the support they need. This goes hand in hand with the setting up of what are called ‘Primary Care Networks’ (PCN). In line with the NHS’ long term plan, PCNs will pull together groups of GP practices in the area, covering populations of 30-50,000, who will work together to improve the health of their population.

CLW has already pioneered a more joined up approach to services but we are looking forward to working more closely with local GPs through the PCNs to further develop these pathways and to improve the experience of people accessing mental health services. We want to do this together with people from our local communities so please make sure to keep aware of any opportunities that are coming up to contribute to these developments or you can speak to your GP to find out more.

This story was originally published in the Winter 2020 Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.

Find out more about the West London Clinical Commissioning Group. 


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 18th February 2020


Returning to work after sick leave

Two-thirds of us will have suffered from some form of mental illness at some point in our lives. It can be even more devastating when it forces us to take a lengthy absence from work. However, once we are on the right road to recovery, going back to work is often one of the most important factors in speeding up our return to full health. It provides us with a support network and is an opportunity to regain our sense of self-esteem and puts some routine and stability back into our lives. Here are some tips on how to transition seamlessly back into the workplace.

Stay in touch

If you can, keep in touch with a trusted colleague while you’re off sick, or when you’re about to return. They can keep you abreast of things like door codes changing, if the stationary cupboard has moved etc, that your manager might overlook, and can help you feel at home in the office. You can also arrange a ‘drop in to work’ before your return to say hello to colleagues and get re-familiarised.

Speak to your GP

Before returning to work, speak to your GP as they might have recommendations to make for your return to work, such as:

  • a phased return (not immediately returning to your full working hours or duties)
  • flexible hours
  • reasonable adjustments, such as recommending specialist equipment to help support you while you’re at work

Be honest

If you’re struggling, be honest! Let your employer or colleagues know if you need extra support. Please remember though that it’s up to you how much or how little you’d like to tell your colleagues about why you’ve been off work. Don’t feel pressured into sharing more than you feel comfortable with.

Prepare

There’s nothing worst than being late and feeling rushed on your first day back at work. If you can, lay out your outfit and items that you will need such as lunch, the night before. This will help ensure your morning goes as smoothly as possible. It could also leave you with extra time in the morning to allow for any unexpected delays or cancellations.

Looking for a job?

If you’ve had to leave your last job due to a mental illness and are now ready to return to work, here are some tips to help you with your job-seeking journey

Think ‘transferable’

Think about your transferable skills. Sometimes it might help to talk through the person specification for a job with a friend – you might be a better match for a role than you think! There are some skills which are invaluable regardless of the role, such as, time management, communication skills, the ability to work alone and as part of a team, and being able to prioritise tasks.

Ask questions during the interview

Although it can be tempting to ask about salary or promotion opportunities, the interview isn’t the best time to ask these questions. Instead, ask questions that will demonstrate a genuine interest in thse company, for example, ask the panel what they enjoy about working at the company.

Identifying gaps in your skills and experience

Do this by looking at the job descriptions and person specifications of roles you are interested in and see what areas you may need to work on. You could “fill in the gaps” by volunteering or completing a short course

Consider “flexible working”

More and more companies are offering “flexible working” and “working from home” as the way we work changes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what this really means, as it can differ greatly from company to company.

Network!

Sometimes it’s not about what you know but who you know. Make an effort to get to know people and attend events to keep updated of industry happenings to get your foot in the door.

This story was originally published in the Winter 2020 Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well, Employment
Posted on: 11th February 2020


The Winter 2020 Magazine is now available!

CLW Winter 2020 magazine cover

A very warm welcome to the Winter 2020 edition of the Community Living Well magazine (and excitingly the first one of the year and decade).

As we navigate our way through the shorter, colder winter days, you may feel a dip in your mood. It’s normal for us to feel down in winter.  But if you find that it’s recurrent every winter, then you may have seasonal affective disorder. We have a special feature on seasonal affective disorder covering what it is, what the symptoms are and when to seek help.

We want you to remember that it’s okay to ask for help and support when you’re not okay. My hope is that when you finish reading this edition, you’re left feeling informed, uplifted, inspired and understood.

Plus…

From food and mood, sleep and anxiety to a focus on men’s mental health. The Winter 2020 edition is filled with content that aims to help you on your quest to improve your mental health and wellbeing. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet Matt Waters from the West London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) where he talks to us about the role the CCG plays in Community Living Well, his background and what’s on the horizon.

We want you to remember that it’s okay to ask for help and support when you’re not okay. My hope is that when you finish reading this edition, you’re left feeling informed, uplifted, inspired and understood.

As always, this magazine is about you – your thoughts, ideas, concerns and achievements. If you have any suggestions, features or stories you think we should include, please contact me, Michelle, on [email protected].

Community Living Well is a mental health service for those registered with a GP in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, or the Queen’s Park and Paddington areas of Westminster. The services on offer include talking therapies, support groups, help with employment and support with debt, housing and benefits issues. Self-referrals can be made here. For more information please call 020 3317 4200.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 5th February 2020


The Rise of Self-Help Platforms

Woman using self-help app on her phone

Technology is changing the way we live. From online courses and habit trackers to sleep advice and breathing exercises, there’s never been a better way to explore and embrace how tech can help our mental health.

In 2019, the App Store editors have named self-help the breakout trend of the year. The ever-growing list of options aims to give people fuss-free, accessible ways to focus on the self from the comfort of their own home.

Self-help involves the actions that individuals take for themselves, on behalf of and with others in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing or wellness.

Moments of self-help add value, energy, purpose, and creativity to everything we do. No matter how fancy or indulgent the term may sound, acts of self-hep are vital in our quest for a healthy, balanced and enjoyable life. Self-help apps can be a helpful way to bring emotional regulation to the forefront of your mind. They are also a great way to get more skilled at thinking, feeling and engaging with the world in a healthier and more productive way.

As self-help can mean different things to different people, the apps can focus on a range of activities including monitoring breathing and stress levels to meditation and mindfulness techniques – all of which can have an enormous impact on our functioning.

Below are some of the most popular apps available online:

Beat Panic

A panic attack is the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes. Beat Panic is designed to guide you through a panic attack or raised anxiety using your phone.

Price – 99p

Be Mindful

An NHS recommended online course to help reduce stress and anxiety and open up life opportunities using mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.

Price – £30 (One off Payment)

CALM

CALM provides daily challenges to deepen your mindfulness practise and learn more about yourself that include sleep advice, exclusive music to help you relax and focus as well as video lessons on mindful movement and gentle stretching.

Price – £7.99 a month or £29.99 a year

Catch It

Learn how to manage feelings like anxiety, depression and stress with this NHS recommended app. Catch It will teach you how to look at problems from a different viewpoint, deconstruct thoughts into associated behaviours and attitudes and overcome negative emotions.

Price – Free

Chill Panda

Chill Panda is an NHS recommended guided breathing app. In 5 minutes you can start to enjoy the deep relaxation and other health benefits of slower therapeutic breathing. These breathing techniques will help you relax more, worry less and feel better.

Price – Free

Cove

Create music to capture your mood and express how you feel with Cove. Instead of communicating through words, make music to reflect emotions like joy, sadness and anger. You can store your tunes in a journal or send them to a loved one and let the music do the talking for you.

Price – Free

Headspace

Relax with the help of Headspace‘s guided meditations and mindfulness techniques. Meditation has been shown to promote subtle improvements in focus, attention and the ability to ignore distractions.

Price – £7.99 a month or £29.99 a year

My Possible Self

This NHS-featured wellbeing app sets out a personalised self-help toolkit for your mental health. You can track how you feel every day with their Mood Tracker and highlight activities, places and people that influence your mood, so you can focus on the things that make you feel great and keep you well.

Price – Free

Strides Habit Tracker

The Strides Habit Tracker makes it easy to track the goals and habits you have been striving to incorporate into your life. After adding each of your individual goals and healthy habits, you’ll be able to see a daily checklist of tasks to keep you on target.

Price – Free

This story was originally published in the Summer 2019 Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well, Self-Care
Posted on: 14th January 2020


Managing your money

Managing your money

Managing your money is an essential skill to learn to minimise debt, particularly whilst living in London. There are lots of reasons why managing your finances can prove difficult – especially if you have an underlying mental health condition.

We explore some of the reasons why debt can stack up and share some measures that can be put in place to prevent this from happening.

Income

You may have a low income which does not cover the costs of necessities associated with daily living. This may be because your benefits have altered or stopped, you have missed a payment or
not claimed all that you are entitled to. Having a low income puts you at greater risk
of getting into debt as it may mean you lack a safety net or emergency fund. If your income is low over a long period of time and you struggle to manage it, this can mean that debts accumulate.

Life changes

Losing your job, relationship breakdowns and bereavement are all major life changes that can have a significant impact on your ability to cope and manage money. At times like these, we can feel vulnerable to further hits and may resort to short-term and quick fixes such as applying for credit cards or taking out high interest rate loans. This only tackles the symptoms rather than the root cause of the debt which will continue to rise and increase our stress levels and  deteriorate our mental wellbeing.

Mental and Physical Wellbeing

Mental or physical illness may require you to take time off work in order to prioritise your health and recovery. During these periods away from employment, you won’t have as much disposable income but may end up spending more on prescriptions and travel to appointments.

Ignorance is not bliss

You may find it too overwhelming to budget, speak to your bank, calculate your monthly payments or pay your bills. This avoidance will lead to your debt continuing to grow.

One in three people regularly worry about money to the extent that it has a negative impact on their mental health. Debt can contribute to this as it can make you feel:

  • Out of control
  • Helpless, especially if debt continues to spiral
  • Embarrassed and isolated as you feel unable to talk about your financial problems. This feeling is often compounded by the double stigma around mental health and money, which may make it feel difficult for you to confide in others or seek help
  • Guilty due to the shame that can be attached to debt. This is especially the case if your sense of self-worth is connected to your ability to provide for yourself and your family.
  • Inferior and inadequate when you compare yourself to others
  • Stressed and anxious. Debt is often a major factor for those suffering from anxiety, and the two issues can feed into each other, creating a vicious cycle

There is help out there!

Don’t feel like you have to tackle managing your money alone. There are many services in London that can help you manage your money and debt. The Navigator Service at Community Living Well can support you through:

  • Signposting you to specialist services both online and in your area
  • Making referrals to different money management organisations
  • Supporting you to contact these services or speaking to them on your behalf

Start today

Seeking help is a great way to avoid a downward spiral in your health and wellbeing. However there are also changes you can make yourself. The first step to managing your money better is creating a budget. It will take a little effort, but it’s a great way to get a quick snapshot of the money you have coming in and going out. Take control of your finances by trying out our budget planner on page 18.

This story was originally published in the Summer 2019 Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well, Navigator
Posted on: 7th January 2020


A Brave New World: How technology could transform mental health treatment

woman experiments with VR technology

Technology and mental health may initially appear at odds. The fast-paced, 24/7 lifestyle that has stemmed from an increasingly interconnected world has often been reported to add to our stress levels and hinder our happiness.

However, a pioneering wave of new research has started to capture how technological advancements may enhance mental health treatment in the UK. While digital can never replace the relationship between a person and a therapist, it may have a real role to play through additional help alongside traditional face-to-face therapy

While most of these technologies are not ready to be used yet and require more research, the following treatments are what could be on the horizon.

ClinTouch Mobile App

Great Manchester NHS Trust recently piloted a mobile app for people recovering from psychosis, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. ClinTouch asks users how they feel a few times a day, generating an alert if a relapse looks likely. As people typically only see a care co-ordinator once a month, the app has the potential to bridge some of the gaps in their care provision. The value of this additional support is significant, especially when symptoms of a relapse can appear within days.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality (VR) is an immersive experience that blocks out the physical world and transports the user into a digitally enhanced environment.

VR has been making waves as an effective treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress disorder for a while now. However, it is only in recent years that VR has been trialled as a potential vehicle to aid exposure therapy – when a person is exposed to anxiety inducing stimuli in a safe and controlled environment.

A new project that took place recently involved a computer-generated avatar guiding a user through cognitive treatment programme for fear of heights. The project randomised 100 people with a significant fear of heights to either their VR application or no treatment. Participants had lived with their fear for, on average 30 years. After four or five 30 minute VR sessions, their fear had reduced on average by two-thirds.

VR has also provided a useful environment to teach patients experiencing emotional distress how to restore an equilibrium in their mood. It is hoped that the patient will then be able to transfer these coping mechanisms into the physical world.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality (AR) blends the virtual and physical world through an overlay. AR allows the user to access additional information through AR glasses. Initial research suggests that this perceptually enriched experience may present an opportunity to provide realtime feedback to people in non-clinical environments as part of their therapy intervention. Personalised treatment is achieved through the customisation of the virtual world a patient will inhabit.

Modernising Monitoring

Many digital companies are exploring tech’s ability to improve mental health diagnoses. New programmes may be able to analyse:

  • a person’s voice
  • the language of written messages and the content of social media pages
  • how fast a person swipes on a mobile device.

 

Mental health diagnosis frameworks have historically relied on paper questionnaires and people’s memories, so it is hoped that this new form of technology could aid and improve the prediction and monitoring of mental health illnesses.

This story was originally published in the Autumn 2019 Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well, Primary Care Liaison Nurses
Posted on: 18th December 2019


SMART St Mary Abbots Rehabilitation and Training