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How digital treatment solutions are supporting children and young people's mental health

02 December 2023
Volume 4 · Issue 6


In 2019, the mental health charity Northpoint partnered with SilverCloud by Amwell to co-develop new digital therapy programmes to alleviate anxiety and low mood in young people and their families. The programmes are evidence-based digital mental health programmes based on cognitive behavioural therapy. The programmes launched at a time when children and young people were returning to school post-pandemic and facing huge uncertainty. The programmes are now being rolled out nationally to NHS and education services. Explaining the partnership journey and outlining how digital treatment programmes have developed within Northpoint's schools therapy services, this article highlights the benefits of having a digital offer as an integrated part of its service model while considering how technology solutions can supplement mental healthcare provision for children and young people.

Northpoint is a third sector commissioned provider of mental health services in Yorkshire, which include child and adolescent mental health services and school therapy services. In 2019, Northpoint explored whether any of the SilverCloud adult mental health digital treatment programmes would be suitable to offer to young people. At this time, demand for support in relation to children and young people's mental health was increasing at pace. NHS Digital (2022) confirmed in their follow-up review of the 2017 Mental Health of Children and Young People's survey, that rates of probable mental disorder ’in children aged 7 to 16 years rose from 1 in 9 (12.1%) in 2017 to 1 in 6 (16.7%) in 2020’. Improving access to support was a key motivator for Northpoint. They were committed to reducing health inequalities and wanted to ensure that children and young people had access to appropriate support and intervention, including reducing waiting times and stigma, and ensuring equitable access to the right services at the right time. Northpoint was passionate about bringing positive change within this priority area, as well as informing future service provision and delivery in relation to children and young people's mental health services.

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