The Power of Digital Therapy to Transform Children’s Mental Health

digital therapy

Fiona (Fi) Dawson, Director at Mayden, gives her view on the vital role that digital therapeutic support plays in Children and Young People’s Mental Health (CYPMH) Services, and why a collaborative approach between tech suppliers is so important.

We will be exhibiting at SilverCloud’s Digital Mental Health Conference on June 21st, to uncover the power of digital therapy tools.

What are some of the key challenges Children and Young People’s Mental Health (CYPMH) services are facing and how are digital solutions helping?

Fi Dawson:
It’s clear that at the moment it’s quite difficult for children and teenagers to access mental health services when they need them. Data shows that waiting times in some areas are increasing. Sometimes children and young people who are being referred to NHS services are being turned away or, worse, told that they are simply not unwell enough to receive help.

There are lots of different factors behind that but the fact remains that services are overstretched and more young people need help – a situation that doesn’t add up and is acutely felt by all involved.

We all want to be able to effectively treat young people in a timely way. We know that if we can, it not only improves their wellbeing at that point in time, it also reduces the risk of them developing longer term mental health conditions and needing to use mental health services when they’re adults.

This is where we believe that digital technology can have its biggest impact.

At Mayden, we believe that digital technology is an essential part of high quality, sustainable and efficient services for children and young people. There are opportunities for digital to enhance every step of a patient’s journey, whether it’s seeking advice, referring themselves online to NHS specialist services, receiving communications on their mobile, booking appointments online or having the option to use digital therapies.

Many services are offering the options of patient facing apps and digital therapies alongside traditional face-to-face services. We, at Mayden, are now able to offer connections to NICE evaluated digital treatment interventions specifically for children and young people for the first time, which is really exciting.

What are the advantages to adopting digital solutions along the care pathway?

Fi Dawson:
Firstly, services can offer early intervention which is a powerful tool that can help children build strong foundations for good mental health and develop the skills needed to live happy and healthy lives.

Digital also introduces more options, where services feel it’s appropriate, for how young people engage with their care, when and where it suits them.

It can help services to improve and increase access via significant patient, administrative and clinical time savings.

At our recent Mayden hosted CYP Mental Health Digital Showcase, services and their tech partners shared examples of where digital technology is already playing a valuable role in early intervention and highlighted how joining up care for children and young people is so important.

An example of this is where SilverCloud and Northpoint Wellbeing have worked together with Mayden to provide activity information into the iaptus patient record to support the recording and validation of progress in the SilverCloud platform, whilst reducing clinical administrative burden. As well as providing a great experience for patients, this digital solution has saved many hours of clinical time and improved data quality.

How is Mayden helping to join up care for children and young people?

Fi Dawson:
Creating digital technology that makes a difference to clinicians and patients is our life’s work. Our patient management system – iaptus – is a flexible and customisable solution that supports psychological therapy services and securely holds the records of over 6.5 million patients.

It can support traditional and blended care models and provide data-driven insights that support services improve the patient experience, increase engagement and inform treatment.

We are advocates and thought leaders for interoperability between clinical systems and the range of evidence-based digital solutions available, such as digital therapies and mental health apps.

As a flexible digital care record system, it’s important that iaptus integrates safely and effectively with other software across the healthcare ecosystem. We’re committed to working with other suppliers to ensure the safe transition of care for patients between health services. We currently work with over 30 software providers, including primary care systems, EPRs, digital health platforms and apps.

What could the future look like?

Fi Dawson:
Technology and society is moving quickly. Generative AI such as ​​chatGPT is changing the world and the growth of the metaverse, augmented reality and VR etc is marching forward. In their everyday lives, children and young people are quick adopters of these technologies and we ignore their use at our society’s detriment.

We need to make sure digital options are safe and appropriate for children and young people.

At Mayden our aspirations for the future revolve around interoperability and how we can work together to ensure that health tech suppliers talk to each other to improve access to mental health care. 

We recognise the need for interoperability between clinical systems and the range of evidence-based digital solutions available, such as digital therapies and mental health apps.

That’s something the health tech industry can help with. There are so many opportunities for collaboration between mental health services, technology companies and young people themselves.

Together we can make digital therapy options for children and young people safe and appropriate.

We’re attending and exhibiting at SilverCloud’s Digital Mental Health Conference all about discovering the power of digital therapy tools. The event is both in person and online. If this event sounds of interest, you can book your place below.


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