The COVID-19 crisis and global pandemic may be the defining moment for digital mental health, but what that definition will be remains unknown. Ensuring the right use of telehealth and app tools today in this crisis and investment in people and training to support them tomorrow during the potential mental health fallout of the current crisis as well as readiness for tomorrow can cement the future of digital mental health as simply mental health. 1
This report is a very rapid review of issues, resources and actions related to technology use in the COVID-19 mental health and addictions context. There is already a large and emerging body of publications in this area – we have selected a few of those that appear to be of particular relevance.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has highlighted the role of telehealth and digital tools, like apps, to offer care in times of need. Many clinicians and people using services are now realizing the full potential of these digital tools. In part this move has been driven by circumstance as, for the first time, the need to utilize them to connect in a time when in-person and face-to-face visits are impossible.
The only established contraindications to telehealth are people not wishing to partake, people who cannot access technology (e.g. due to poverty and inequality) and speech, sight, hearing and language barriers.