A new mental health support app for people living with diabetes is now available in the Black Country.

Provided by Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, SilverCloud is available as part of a 12-month pilot. It is especially designed to help those living with diabetes to manage any mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety more effectively from home.

The app provides computer-based cognitive behavioural therapy (a talking therapy that can help people manage their problems by changing the way they think and behave), in the form of modules. Each module offers a range of techniques to help support people experiencing mild anxiety and depression and help them to keep track of their progress.

The programme will also be supported by an NHS Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, who will provide regular support and guidance through messaging in the programme or via telephone calls.

Marcus Leonard, Talking Therapies Manager for the Black Country, said: “We are delighted to have been working alongside the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board to offer additional modules to our online cognitive based therapy.

“Thanks to work undertaken by the NHS Diabetes Programme, we are aware that managing invisible conditions can be isolating and tiresome, and that appropriate mental health support for people with diabetes plays a key part in good diabetes management."

SilverCloud can be used by those who have presented into Talking Therapies services in Dudley and Walsall, as well as our Healthy Minds service in Sandwell and Wolverhampton.

It can provide quick and easy access to evidence-based techniques, supported by trained mental health clinicians, to help people manage their mental health alongside their diabetes.”

Dr Ruth Tapparo, Diabetes Primary Care Clinical Lead for NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board, said: “Getting a chronic illness diagnosis such as diabetes can be a very stressful time for a person and, understandably, this can trigger mental health symptoms such as depression or anxiety.

“Just like taking care of your body, taking care of your mind is vitally important to living a healthy life with diabetes and it’s important that people know that help is available.

“That’s why we’re extremely pleased to be able to offer SilverCloud to all our patients to help reduce the symptoms of low mood and anxiety via the cognitive behavioural therapy programme.”

SilverCloud can be accessed at any time on a smartphone, tablet or laptop.

For more information on Talking Therapy and Healthy Minds services in the Black Country, visit the Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust website here.

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