Tuesday 5 August 2014

Introducing Mastermind - computerised CBT

Tanya Summerfield (left), an ICT (Information & Communication Technology) Project Manager at Powys teaching Health Board, is working to develop an innovative digital project to help support people experiencing depression in Powys. 

She is supported by her colleague Menna Reese (below), who is also helping to promote the roll-out of Mastermind in Powys.

We spoke to Tanya and Menna recently to find out more about Mastermind.

Tell us about your role at the health board 

To facilitate the implementation of two European Union projects, one of which is Mastermind, which is the introduction of the computerised Cognitive Behavior Therapy across Powys by November 2014.

What is the Mastermind Project?

The Mastermind Project aims to make high quality treatment for depression more widely available across Europe through the use of ICT. In Powys the software of choice is ‘Beating the Blues’ developed by Ultrasis.

What is cCBT? 
Computerised Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. 

Tell us about the Powys pilot of the Mastermind project

The pilot aims to facilitate access to cCBT through purchasing licenses and training primary care mental health staff in its application along with provision of video conferencing facilities between ‘GP and Specialist Clinician’ or ‘Specialist Clinician and patient’. 

How do you think it will benefit people who may be experiencing mental distress or be depressed?

The Programme will only be available for people with a diagnosis of low to moderate depression and the benefit will be access to the cCBT in the patient's own home at their convenience.

What is particularly innovative about the project? 

The Programme focuses on how to improve the lives of service users and their families using a recovery and enablement approach through embracing technological advances to date and minimising the need to travel to treatment centres.

Why has the health board decided to offer this type of mental health services in Powys?

In recognition of the rural terrain and the ratio of the primary mental health practitioners to the population, funding was sought through the EU to pilot the scheme prior to it becoming mainstream. In this way, we will be able to make psychological therapies more widely available.

What kind of links is the health board making with mental health services in other European countries as a result of this work, and how could this be beneficial to people in Powys?

Sharing good practice and regularly monitoring reports shared across 11 European sites, taking advantage of networking opportunities sharing experiences.

When will the Mastermind service be made available and who will be eligible to access it and how?

The time schedule identifies November 2014 as the start date and the trial will run for 17 months. Eligibility will depend on the diagnosis of low to moderate depression by the general practitioner, primary mental health clinicians or secondary mental health service.

How does the project tie in with the aims of the Together for Mental Health (Welsh Government strategy) and Powys Hearts & Minds strategy?

Poor mental health and illness have a significant impact on individuals, society and the economy overall. Together for Mental Health (Welsh Government 2012) sets out the Welsh Government's ambitions for improving the mental health service and promoting better mental health wellbeing across the whole population. This project will widen the availability of psychological therapies.

If people want to find out more about the Mastermind Project, who can they contact?

The EU Project Office on 01874 712765 or email Tanya.Summerfield@wales.nhs.uk

Thank you Tanya and Menna for introducing us to the Mastermind Project in Powys. You can find out more about the Mastermind Project on the project website here, and also join the debate on Twitter here, or tell us what you think by commenting below.

1 comment:

  1. You can read an update about the rolling out of the computerised CBT Beating the Blues in Powys on the Mastermind blog here.