This World Mental Health Day the HSE is Shining a Light on Digital Mental Health Supports

  • Over 9,000 free online counselling appointments in 2021
  • 1,000 free online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy licenses
  • Over 150,000 views of online self-help programmes

Today, (Sunday 10th October 2021), the HSE is marking World Mental Health Day, a global public health day for raising awareness and understanding about mental health. This year the HSE is reminding people of the importance of maintaining good mental health and to be aware of the different levels of supports and services that are available face to face, by phone and online.

Over the last year the HSE has enhanced digital mental health offerings for both staff and the wider public and has also seen a considerable increase in people accessing online self-help resources. The HSE’s Minding your Wellbeing programme, a series of short videos covering different aspects of mental health and wellbeing, was viewed over 42,500 times since it launched last November.  Since September 2020 there have been over 111,000 views of the evidence based Stress Control online programme which teaches practical skills on recognising and dealing with stress. The HSE has been providing additional funding to organisations offering free online counselling to those impacted by Covid-19. Approximately 10,000 appointments were provided last year and funding for a further 9,000 appointments has also been made available so far this year.

HSE Assistant National Director, Head of Mental Health Operations Jim Ryan says, “We have seen the positive impact digital mental health supports have had in the last year and a half particularly in opening up access to services. We know that early intervention can make a huge difference and that many people can receive effective treatment for mental health difficulties online, including some people who might otherwise have to wait for a face-to-face consultation. We would encourage everyone to pay attention to their mental health, to notice when they’re not feeling great and to talk to someone they trust about how they’re feeling. There are lots of really great resources available on and we would encourage people to find out what is available to them in person, by phone and online.”

As part of the HSE’s digital mental health strategy the HSE also recently partnered with digital health company, SilverCloud Health, on a national roll out of free digital cognitive behaviour therapy to address depression and anxiety in Ireland in an effort to make mental health support more widely available. Supported by trained clinical staff, almost 1,000 people have already availed of this online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) service which is currently available to receive referrals from Primary Care Psychology, the National Counselling Service, Jigsaw and GPs across Ireland, enabling people to start accessing essential supports within 24 hours of referral.

World Mental Health Day provides an opportunity to empower people to look after their own mental health and provide support to others. The HSE’s YourMentalHealth website, which provides trusted information on mental health supports and services, continues to see an increase in traffic with a 35% increase on this time last year. No matter what you’re going through you can find information on mental health, for you or someone you care about as well as details on lots of HSE-funded organisations that provide face to face and phone supports.

In line with our National Mental Health Policy, Sharing the Vision, the HSE will continue to invest in the digital mental health supports to improve accessibility for appropriate supports and make it easier for people to be able to access the right level of support at the right time.

Join the conversation on Twitter – search for and use @hse_ymh and #WorldMentalHealthDay

Last updated on: 11 / 10 / 2021