eMEN Spring 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the eMEN spring newsletter, updating you on our progress and achievements in e-mental health technologies across Europe.

What has happened so far?

Piloting new products:

As part of the eMEN project, each partner country is piloting an e-mental health product. This spring’s newsletter highlights some of the innovative approaches developing from these pilots, including how they are addressing barriers to the uptake of e-mental health. Read more about the recent developments in eMental health in Ireland and a psychologist’s view of online treatment.

Influencing policy and practice:

Combined expertise across the eMEN partners has supported our policy work, illustrated below by stakeholder interviews and French working group meetings.

Knowledge Sharing & Exchange:

We have also been sharing knowledge about policy and research in new ways, through cross disciplinary events like the London conference on prevention with digital technologies and the Amsterdam seminar on the implementation of e-mental health care.

Knowledge-sharing events are being hosted by eMEN partners throughout the project, so if you missed out on the events above, there is still time to attend one of our upcoming seminars or conferences. They are all free to attend!


Recent eMEN events

Prevention with digital technologies: expanding the possibilities for better mental health

On the 24th January 2019, the Mental Health Foundation, in collaboration with the Cochrane Group for Common Mental Disorders based at the University of York, hosted the conference ‘Prevention with digital technologies: expanding the possibilities for better mental health’ at the Barbican Centre in London. More than 200 delegates came together to learn about and exchange ideas about the evidence behind long-term approaches for a future where digital technologies can help protect against mental health problems and deliver good mental health for all.

The morning speakers focused on Mental Health Prevention with Digital Technologies, including how we can integrate ‘digital’ into practice, and the afternoon session posed the question How far have we come? How far can we go? Finally, there was a panel discussion on the Benefits and Challenges of Digital Technologies for Mental Health, looking at how we can ensure effective co-production, access and equity in the development and use of cost effective digital mental health technologies in the fast-moving field of varied technologies and approaches.


During the day, the Janice Sinson award was presented by Dr Antonis Kousoulis of the Mental Health Foundation to early-career researcher Emily Eisner (PhD Researcher, University of Manchester), who presented a poster of her research project ‘Development and long-term acceptability of ExPRESS’, which is a smartphone app to monitor basic symptoms and early signs of psychosis relapse. Kieran Woodward and Mariana Pinto da Costa were commended for their research projects, on which they also presented posters during the breaks.

The conference was livestreamed via #BeyondTheRoom, a collaboration involving Mark Brown (@MarkOneInFour), Vanessa Garrity
(@VanessaLGarrity) and André Tomlin (@Mental_Elf), who increase the reach and impact of mental health conferences and events by live blogging, tweeting, podcasting and streaming what happens in the room to their social media audience of over 100,000 followers #BeyondTheRoom.

Their involvement, using the hashtag #eMENprevention, resulted in: 372 people tweeting on the day; 1,300 tweets; 23.3 million Twitter impressions; 48 views of the live-streamed panel discussion, and 44-79 listeners to four podcasts. If you missed the conference, you might find it interesting to look at the discussion and material shared on Twitter throughout the day.

Visit the eMEN website for the full article.

Let’s make it work! Another dynamic eMEN seminar

On March 28th almost 90 stakeholders in the field of e-mental health came together at the VU University in Amsterdam to discuss e-mental health implementation in the ‘real world’. SMEs, mental health professionals, insurance companies, researchers, students, policy makers and end-users discussed various implementation topics and approaches, which resulted in a very interesting multidisciplinary event that gave a good reflection of the different implementation barriers.

In order to learn more about implementation from regions outside Europe an e-mental health implementation expert, Dr. Lori Wozney, was invited from Canada. Dr. Wozney works for the IWK Health Center in Nova Scotia and is one of the authors of the ‘e-mental health implementation toolkit’ which was issued by the Mental Health Commission of Canada in 2018. The eMEN partners are actively promoting this toolkit as it presents a holistic and practical approach towards implementation; Europe is facing similar implementation challenges as those experienced in Canada and currently no such toolkit is available in Europe (re-inventing the wheel is not the best
approach). The toolkit has already received a lot of positive feedback from mental health professionals in Canada.

As first speaker of the day, Dr. Wozney emphasised the importance of action-focused conversations and the conditions for successful
implementation. The latter includes: acceptance, value, evidence, resources, engagement and work process (job and task redesign). Failed projects often have to deal with negative beliefs, too much complexity and security issues.

Other speakers were e-mental health Professor Heleen Riper from the VU, who gave a presentation about the future of ‘blended care’ and the positive research results which have been achieved so far. PhD candidate Christiaan Vis (also from the VU) spoke about the importance of implementation research, which is done through various projects such as E-COMPARED, ImplementALL and iCARE.
Professor Paul Iske (Maastricht University/ Institute of Brilliant Failures) spoke about the importance of failures and learning from failures, which is generally not given enough attention. Another interesting topic of the day was reimbursement. Jeroen Schols and Bernard Creutzburg from the NZA (Netherlands Health Authority) talked about how the use of e-mental health is reimbursed now and how reimbursement will work in the near future.

During the day, there were three product pitches for e-mental health interventions. In the morning, Emiel Boelman of Pixplicity pitched the EMDapp (for PTSD). Later during the day, Annelies Wisse (IJsfontein) talked about Lunchroom Zondag application (for depression). Monica Wojciechowska (Pearson) was the last one to pitch the BYI-2-NL, which is a screening tool for adolescents.

There was also a student panel which talked about their experiences with the e-mental health training course of the VU University and the importance of developing real and practical treatment skills.

After the student panel, there were two workshop rounds for attendees to choose from: ‘Implementation at treatment centre Antes’ by
Karlijne Staketee, ‘Towards a new reimbursement model for mental health care’ by Jeroen Schols and Bernard Creutzburg (NZA), ‘From innovation to implementation with co-creation’ by Annelies Wisse and Wieke Schrakamp (IJsfontein), and ‘A franchise model for mental health care: Mentaal Beter’ by Vera Kemper.

As one of the treatment centers (Mentaal Beter) said at the closing of the event: “e-mental health implementation is also about courage, and we need more of this within the mental health care sector”.

Read the full article here.

Our next eMEN seminars in Dublin and Cardiff are mentioned below.


Interesting developments

Recent developments in eMental health in Ireland

In March this year, the Mental Health Reform eMEN team in Ireland presented an overview of recent developments in the eMEN project and the eMental health field more generally at the Trinity Health and Education International Research Conference in Ireland (Topolska and Cullen, 2019).

Visit the eMEN website to read the full article.


What does a psychologist think about online treatment?

“Since August 2018 I have been working as a psychologist in our online treatment team. For the past 20 years, I have conducted mostly face-to-face sessions, and online treatment was not very common. During this time, we did start to use more email and also WhatsApp, which resulted in more and faster contacts. I had never worked with online modules before, in our case the modules from Minddistrict. In this interview I will summarise my first experiences with online treatment.”

You can read this English translation of an interview with a Dutch psychologist working at GGZei here.

(GGZei is a mental healthcare treatment centre in Eindhoven (December 2018); the original article in Dutch can be found via this web link)


Challenges for e-mental health implementation in NWE countries

Within the last two years, the eMEN project partners have conducted 39 interviews with relevant stakeholders from Belgium, France,
Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

The aim of these interviews was to gather insights into the e-mental health developments in eMEN partner countries (e.g. national agendas, jurisdiction) and to identify the main challenges when it comes to implementing e-mental health. The outcomes of these interviews were used as input for the eMEN Transnational Policy document, which is currently being finalised.

The stakeholder interviews confirm that the challenges to e-mental health implementation overlap to a great extent in eMEN partner
countries. Thus, a combination of national and European guidelines, visions and objectives may accelerate the implementation of e-mental health.

The eMEN Transnational Policy document aims to enhance e-mental health implementation by addressing the main barriers, identifying and assessing ideas and proposing common areas for action on European and national level.

Visit the website page for an insight into stakeholders’ expectations, concerns and ideas with regard to e-mental health.


2019: The year of e-mental health for France

As mentioned in the eMEN autumn newsletter, in the summer of 2018 the French Minister of Solidarity and Health and the Secretary of State for Disabled Persons presented the government’s roadmap for mental health and psychiatry. This roadmap included among its priorities – for the first time – e-mental health, under the name “Mental Health 3.0”. The Ministerial department responsible for mental health is already working to create a “working group on e-mental health” to implement the objectives identified in the roadmap.

The working group had its first meeting in January 2019 and consists of representatives of national health agencies, research groups and universities, user representatives, carers associations, developers and other stakeholders involved in e-mental health. The WHO Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) for research and training in mental health (EPSM Lille Métropole, French partner of eMEN) was appointed to co-chair the working group. Its objectives are, in the short term, to carry out an inventory of existing French tools and those under development, and also of services in the field of e-mental health. In the medium and long term, the aim is to adapt and implement the policy recommendations of the eMEN project in France and define a “development model” consistent with eMEN recommendations.

This is not the only news for e-mental health in France for 2019! Every year in March a national group of users and carers associations, with the support of the French Minister of Solidarity and Health, organises two weeks dedicated to mental health and more particularly to the organisation of mental health promotion activities. These weeks are an opportunity to build projects and to talk about mental health with the entire population. The 2019 Mental Health Information Weeks were held from March 18 to 31 under the theme “Mental Health in the Digital Age”. Events ranging from movie screenings and art exhibitions to conferences and seminars were organised across the country. The utility and benefits of e-mental health, but also the potential risks were discussed during different events, showing that e-mental health is at the top of the agenda in France.

A flyer giving more detail is available here.

Finally, a first of its kind information brochure on e-mental health aimed at the general public has been published by an independent information and training organisation in mental health and co-written by the WHOCC.

The eMEN project is cited as a reference at an international level. The brochure is available here.


Upcoming FREE transnational seminars and conferences

Over the life of the project, eMEN is delivering 24 transnational events across Europe addressing e-mental health evidence-based innovations, quality, access and scale.

18 June 2019: Dublin, Ireland

'Technology and Student Mental Health'

Date: 18th June 2019

Time: Registration 9:00 AM, Seminar from 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Location: TU Grangegorman (Saint Laurence Hall), Dublin 7

Register here to attend!

This seminar, organised jointly by Mental Health Reform and the Union of Students in Ireland, is part of the eMEN project – funded by Interreg North West Europe and the HSE.

Learn more about the seminar's themes, what to expect, and who should attend by clicking on the link



4 July 2019: Cardiff, Wales

‘Digital Mental Health: Increasing access and equity’

More details to follow soon.


Share our animation!

Our eMEN animation is available at nweurope.eu/emen. It explains the concept of e-mental health and the many ways it can support mental wellbeing. We encourage you to share this with your networks, embed it in your website and use it in your presentations.

Why not join our transnational network?

eMEN is an e-mental health project running until May 2020, funded through the Interreg North West European Innovation Programme with a value of €5.36 million. The six country partners are led by the Netherlands and include Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK, who together combine diverse technological, clinical, research, and policy expertise.

To receive updates on our future activities and connect to e-mental health stakeholders across Europe, we encourage you to register to join our network.

We also welcome invitations to contribute to your event. Further contact information for all the partners is available at www.nweurope.eu/emen.

Share this

Tweet Share