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Committee asks what our increasingly digital lives will mean for our mental health

10 December 2020

On Tuesday, 15 December the COVID-19 Committee will explore how digital technology could be used in mental health service delivery, as well as the mental health impact of spending more time online.


The session has been split into two parts. First, the Committee will hear what those who design, deliver, evaluate and use mental health services think about how technology could be used in future, and how that might affect the outcomes for different groups of patients. Then the Committee will consider what impact there might be on our mental health and wellbeing if we are increasingly spending more of our time online.


At 10:00am the Committee will hear evidence from:

  • Kate Cavanagh, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Sussex
  • Tom Foley, Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Newcastle University
  • Dr Richard Graham, Consultant Psychiatrist, Good Thinking
  • Akiko Hart, CEO, National Survivor User Network

At 11:20am the Committee will hear from:

  • Dr Bernadka Dubicka, Chair of the Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Dr Linda Kaye, Chair of Cyberpsychology section, British Psychological Society

Themes for discussion

  • The extent to which digital technology will be used to deliver mental health services in future, and the opportunities and risks that poses for different groups of people in need of support and treatment.
  • The relationship between the NHS and private companies in relation to the development of new technologies, programs etc.
  • The risks and benefits of increasing internet use to different groups of people, and the action needed to protect those at risk of harm.
  • Whether enough research has been done into both the efficacy of different digital approaches to service delivery and the impact of internet use on mental health.

Further information