All NHS staff can now access free apps to cope with insomnia and anxiety as part of a nationwide effort to support the mental health of the national health service workforce during the covid-19 pandemic.
NHS England has announced a national mental health support programme to provide NHS staff with evidence-based digital programmes to protect their mental health during the covid-19 response.
The apps are designed to help maintain healthy and restorative sleep, reduce anxiety and worry, and to help them learn evidence-based techniques to address mental health issues when they arise.
The NHS-accredited apps Daylight - designed to help with worry and anxiety - and Sleepio - a digital sleep improvement programme featuring Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques - are both developed by digital therapeutics company Big Health.
Fifteen NHS trusts and six GP practices have already rolled out access to the programmes to over 100,000 staff, with the apps now made freely available to all NHS employees across the country in partnership with NHSE.
As the UK’s response to the covid-19 pandemic intensifies, NHS staff are at the frontline and being placed under mounting pressure.
Whilst reconfiguring hospitals to prioritise treatment of covid-19 patients, the government has also made emergency changes to the Mental Health Act to increase the capacity of mental health services, and providers have moved rapidly to adopt telehealth solutions.
Big Health co-founder and professor of sleep medicine at the University of Oxford, Colin Espie, has praised NHSE’ quick response in protecting the mental health of NHS staff as well as their physical health during the pandemic.
Commenting on Big Health’s partnership with NHSE Professor Espie said:
“I’m honoured that Big Health is able to support our colleagues in the NHS to help safeguard their mental health during these most challenging of times. NHS staff are working under enormous pressure whilst also experiencing significant changes to their lives at home as a result of covid-19. We built Sleepio and Daylight to help people effectively manage their mental health whether the challenges occur during the night or day.”
Chris Adams, GP and managing director of HFP Medical, added:
“Covid-19 has placed a great strain on the mental health of our staff and patients. Digital solutions like Sleepio and Daylight allow us to provide instant support for those working either on the NHS frontline or from home and for those self-isolating, helping to keep people healthy during this difficult time.”
Sleepio and Daylight are available at no cost to everyone working in the NHS to support their mental health during the covid-19 pandemic. These solutions aim to support staff to maintain healthy and restorative sleep, reduce anxiety and worry, and to help them learn evidence-based techniques to address mental health issues when they arise.
For more information on Big Health, please visit www.bighealth.com/nhs.