Digital health to assist mental health recovery in remote Scotland

Mental health charity Birchwood Highland have announced a scheme to improve support for people with mental health issues in remote and rural areas of Scotland.

The scheme involves the use of digital health company Openbrolly’s ROC health and social care software platform, which can be used to provide support for people living with long-term conditions.

Through the system those supported by Birchwood Highland will be able to discuss goals, plans and concerns through a video link, share correspondence they require assistance with and access their personal support plan documents.

The system will be used in Easter Ross, Lochaber and remote areas of Inverness with the aim of overcoming the challenges presented by the geography and topography of the Highlands.

Linda Birnie, community services manager at Birchwood Highland, said: “We see the new service as an innovative way to improve support using new technology. Enabling choice and inclusion, plus being responsive to offering support where and when it is needed, which are key outcomes for us.

“This new system offers an immediate personal connection over distance rather than someone having to wait for a visit while a worker travels to their home, so individuals may get more value from the support time. The system can be blended with traditional visits to cover a full range of preferred support requirements.”

David Sim, director at Openbrolly, said: “There is a push, particularly in Scotland, to overcome barriers caused by distance and limited resources and put people in control of the care they receive. Technology is part of the solution and enables a level of care that would be impossible to deliver using traditional methods.”

Reece Armstrong is a reporter for Digital Health Age. Coming from the North East of England, Reece has an MA in Media & Journalism and a BA in Popular & Contemporary Music from Newcastle University. Reach him on Twitter or email via:

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