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EHTEL often leads the field on ideas. The 2020 EHTEL Symposium featured a session on the role of digital mental health in contributing to improved health and community resilience, including talks by Marie Paldam Folker from the Centre for Telepsychiatry in the Region of Southern Denmark and Erik Van der Eycken from GAMIAN Europe. This sparked an interest in the fields of digital mental health and hybrid care from Healthmanagement.org, who invited the two organisations to contribute their thoughts and ideas to the “Human Matters” edition of the HealthManagement.org journal in April 2021.

The two articles bring readers perspectives on the field of digital mental health from the healthcare provider and patient angles, respectively. They join a wealth of other articles all exploring matters related to human beings facing the many challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a follow-up to the articles, an online roundtable featuring six of the contributors to the Human Matters issue was live-streamed and recorded. In the roundtable, the Centre for Telepsychiatry was represented by Mette Atipei Craggs, EHTEL Vice President and co-author of the Danish contribution on mental health. The discussions were fuelled by experiences from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Pakistan, and Singapore. Great focus was put on how technology can help make healthcare services more accessible, flexible, and equal for the variety of people needing them, e.g. through stepped and hybrid care formats. The recording is available on YouTube.

For nearly a decade, the Centre for Telepsychiatry has been a hub for mental health innovation in Denmark. It has striven to bridge the gap nationally and internationally between service users, practitioners, regions, volunteer organisations, technology companies, and research institutes. Most recently, the Centre has led the ImpleMentAll Horizon 2020 project to its successful completion in collaboration with partners from all over Europe and Australia. The project studied the implementation of internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT), which forms an integral part of the envisioned stepped and hybrid care model in the mental health Services in the Region of Southern Denmark.

Hybrid care is a challenge of core interest to EHTEL and its members. Watch out for more webinars and workshops on this important merger of digital and human approaches.

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