Handheld computers to improve children’s mental health services

The Department of Health has announced that new funding of up to £2 million is to be available for new handheld computers to boost children’s mental health services. The new devices will be rolled out to 42 sites across England.

Children and young people will be able to use tablet computers in their therapy sessions to give them and their therapist instant access to information that details how close they are to achieving treatment goals.

Therapists can also use the handheld computers to record sessions so that their supervisors and clinical tutors can watch the sessions and comment on their techniques to help therapists to improve.

The time therapists and administrators currently spend recording outcomes will also be cut dramatically.

Earlier this year, the department published the Mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS England from 01 April 2013) with a clear objective to put mental health on a par with physical health and to extend and ensure more open access to the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme in particular for children and young people and for those out of work.