The Partnership has launched ALMA, a wellbeing website that features a range of free apps and online courses, to support the health and wellbeing of people living and working in the region during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The website provides access to three intensive online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) courses, which focus on dealing with stress and anxiety, building mental resilience and getting better quality sleep. The courses, which are free of charge to Cheshire and Merseyside residents, have been developed by health and care professionals and offers a personalised and curated experience.
The online CBT courses are provided by SilverCloud and are the result of over 17 years of clinical research with leading academic institutions. In clinical trials, SilverCloud has demonstrated results similar to face-to-face therapy and real-world results show 65% of users achieve a significant decrease in depression and anxiety symptoms.
Users will also have access to a knowledge base of free health and wellbeing apps that have been evaluated by a medical professional for their clinical effectiveness. The range of apps includes mental wellbeing, exercise and diet, smoking cessation, sleep, and much more.
This app library is provided by the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA). With over 365,000 health apps available on the market, ORCHA’s 260-point ‘Baseline Review’ (OBR) process breaks through the noise of unregulated and untrustworthy apps, and addresses challenges such as awareness, access, trust and governance of health apps. Further to this, ORCHA works with health economies to build on the OBR and add ‘local accreditation’ criteria as dictated by local health priorities that then allows regions to reach their own ‘locally approved’ list of apps.
Jim Hughes, Strategic Advisor for Digital Programmes at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and Programme Director for Patient Held Records for Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership, said:
“We worked closely with our partners at Mindwave Ventures, ORCHA and SilverCloud to develop this website in a short timeframe, so that the Partnership can support as many people as possible. However, this is just a preview of what the website will eventually become.
“As part of the Partnership’s Digital Programme, ALMA will eventually be a ‘one stop shop’ for personal health records and a variety of health and wellbeing resources, including communications with clinicians, which will empower residents to take responsibility and control of their own health and wellbeing.”
To access the ALMA wellbeing website, please visit almahealth.co.uk.