Here at EHFF we have always been very invested in supporting good mental health and mental health care. We were rather disappointed at the start of the PROSTEP project that the Commission wouldn’t agree to the Consortium including mental health as one of the key chronic disease areas to be studied in the context of promoting self-care although we had presented a consensus in favour of it. Nevertheless, they did allow us to have a colleague from the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists research unit (Alan Quirk) to be a member of our Expert panel.
Mental health is if anything becoming more of interest in global terms and we saw an opportunity to include two small mental health specific projects in this year’s work programme.
1. A review of ‘state of the art’ in the application of eHealth tools in mental health in the UK. This represents a continuation of our interest and support of digital health as a major lever for change in health systems but specifically looks at an area where there is quite a lot of interest not to mention ‘hype’ but where it is perhaps a lot more difficult to demonstrate real impact at the grass-roots level.
2. Recently Jim Phillips and David Somekh met with members of the Quality Improvement Division of the Health Service Executive in Dublin and discussed the progress of their patient engagement strategy in mental health among other areas. We are proposing a year-long project where the resources and expertise we’re employing to roll-out the Cempac project could be used to support the Irish initiative in the area of mental health.