This post was co-authored by Sarah Lagan, B.S., member of the Division of Digital Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School.

Digital Skills Education Hub: A Partnership to Promote Digital Mental Health Literacy and Recovery

How can we make digital mental health more equitable accessible – and ensure that the right digital mental health tools can be fully utilized by those who seek them?

Before COVID-19 limited in-person groups, our team hosted many digital literacy trainings courses over 8 weeks. These in person trainings were well received and helped people gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to ensure they could use tools like smartphone apps as part of their recovery. The results were recently published in January 2021.  But with COVID-19, the need to move so many services online highlights that today functional digital skills are more important than ever. When it comes to mental health, technology can be a valuable tool for care and recovery. But fully utilizing, and reaping the benefits of, this technology is difficult without a digital skillset. 

At the Division of Digital Psychiatry, we aim to improve the quality and accessibility of treatment for mental illness through innovation, education, and research in technology. We’ve developed and conducted a series of digital skills courses for individuals with first episode psychosis, created a digital clinic that integrates a smartphone app into psychiatric care, and introduced a program to train digital navigators, who can provide personalized technology recommendations both within a clinical setting and beyond. We’ve shown how these programs can help develop digital literacy, ultimately enabling individuals to incorporate technology into their recovery and wellness. 

We now want to bring these programs to as many people as possible. We’ve created the Digital Skills Education Hub, where we will partner with local community centers, clubhouses, and mental health organizations with the purpose of developing and advancing functional digital skills. The Education Hub connects these different organizations with the common goal of helping individuals use technology to meet their recovery goals. We offer a range of free, evidence-based services, including digital literacy trainings, app consultation, job training and funding, and technology support. 

Free, Evidence-Based Interactive Programs, From our Team to Your Organization

Organizations can support those they serve by ensuring they have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to benefit from digital mental health. Our programs facilitate access to new jobs, online resources, and connections that can support functional recovery, and our evidence based resources can help staff and providers integrate technology into care and recovery. 

Our services are 100% free of charge thanks to support from the Baer Foundation. They are backed by evidence and years of experience working and designed in collaboration with end users and people with lived experience, all while being accessible to individuals with a wide range of needs and backgrounds. 

Interested in learning more about the Digital Skills Education Hub? Please join us for an informational webinar on Tuesday, February 4 at 11am EST, or visit our website for more information. We would be happy to schedule a time to discuss in detail what we can offer for organizations and individuals. 

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