Monday, February 11 10:45:13
Irish technology company, SilverCloud, has invented a pioneering new online 'e-therapy' programme to help teens with self esteem issues.
The new 'SeeMySelf' programme has today been launched by Bodywhys - the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland - to support teenagers with self-esteem issues and to help prevent these developing into eating disorders or other related psychological problems.
The launch of SeeMySelf marks the first time in the world that this type of 'e-therapy' has been introduced for young people with eating disorders.
The programme has been developed for Bodywhys by SilverCloud Health, the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC)-based Irish technology company specialising in computerised therapeutic / wellness programmes that healthcare professionals and organisations use to provide care and support to patients and clients.
SeeMySelf is underpinned by technologies developed by SilverCloud Health, which emerged from a joint project undertaken by the NDRC (National Digital Research Centre), Trinity College Dublin and Parents Plus, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital. In 2012 SilverCloud Health was identified as the 'Hottest Company in Healthcare' by Johnson & Johnson at the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco.
SeeMySelf is a self-reflective process aimed to educate, enhance and improve young peoples' sense of themselves. It has been piloted to date to very positive feedback among a panel of teenage participants.
Jacinta Hastings, CEO of Bodywhys said: "Programmes such as this, where there is the combination of 'human' contact and support, together with an online programme, should become a necessary and normal part of the education of our young people."
The SeeMySelf programme is unique because participants are supported by a designated supporter as they make progress, meaning that it not only uses the online medium but also engages at a personal level. Working these two elements together provides participants with a unique opportunity to develop their coping skills and to learn about themselves.
SeeMySelf helps young people to understand how they think and how they can guide and manage their own selves to improve their sense of wellbeing. The programme also provides avenues for specific personal counselling, assistance and support wherever required.
The programme addresses issues such as self -esteem, self image, and media literacy, all of which are key elements in the development of a strong sense of self. These issues are also key to the process of working towards enhancing protective factors and decreasing risk factors such as destructive coping mechanisms, e.g. eating disorders.
Ken Cahill, Chief Executive of SilverCloud Health said: "Digital technologies and social media are an integral part of teenage life. It makes sense to create advanced new systems which healthcare providers can use to reach out through a familiar medium to support young people in a private and personal environment of trust and support. SilverCloud has developed a new technology platform which addresses this requirement." By Joe Downes