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Headsted to deliver e-therapy programme to Vincentians

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The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, with support from the Trinity School of Medicine, has secured an agreement with Anglo-Finnish supplier Headsted to deliver two e-therapy programmes, via the distance mode, as part of a new SVG Psychological Wellness Initiative.{{more}}

Headsted is led by psychologist Professor Raimo Lappalainen, a leading authority on evidence based psychological therapies.

The programmes are: Hold Your Nerve – a seven -week online course supporting people suffering with anxiety; Value Your Self – a six-week online course supporting people with low mood.

A release from the Ministry of Health said this is an innovative delivery of third wave Cognitive Behavioural Therapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which is gaining recognition globally.

“Headsted is currently delivering eACT programmes in North West Europe. It provides an excellent opportunity to deliver significant benefits in the development of psychological wellness for the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines, in terms of treatment, prevention, and protection.

“This does not replace support, medication or care pathways already in place, but users are encouraged to complete the course, as well as the associated exercises, at a self-guided level. The impact of the initiative will be closely monitored and evaluated by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment and the Trinity School of Medicine.”

Access to the programme is open to any individual who feels that he or she needs help with anxiety and/or low mood issues. People can have access to both therapeutic programmes, but not at the same time…one programme must be completed before the next begins.

The age restriction is for anyone aged over 11 years, with explicit guidance that high school children must receive ongoing support from school counselling services during the life cycle of the programme. School counsellors must ensure that high school children have sufficient maturity to complete the exercises and gain benefit from the course materials.

The only requirement is that a participant must have access to the Internet. It is proposed that referrals can be made by: nurses and doctors (community or hospital based); psychologists; school counsellors; generic or specialist counsellors; social workers and allied health professionals.

Other people, such as church leaders, relatives, and friends, although they cannot directly refer, should encourage those who will benefit to request access to the programmes from one of designated referrers.

This initiative represents an outstanding opportunity to raise the profile of psychological wellness here in SVG and has the potential to improve the lives of people living with anxiety and low mood challenges.

This initiative will be launched today at the Ministry of Transport and Works at 1:30 p.m.

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