Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Technologies

Digital technologies offering treatment option for young people.

Four digital technologies that can help children and young people with mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety or low mood have been created.

These are guided self-help digital cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) technologies for those aged 5 to 18 years.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “These four technologies, using games, videos and quizzes, represent a promising step forward for new treatment options for children and young people, with early evidence showing they could help improve symptoms of anxiety or low mood.

“It is incredibly important children and young people can access mental health services when they need it, and these new guided self-help tools will allow those between 5 and 18 to learn techniques for support when they are available in future.

“This builds upon work already in place with nearly 300 mental health support teams in place in around 4,700 schools and colleges across the country.”

The four self-guided products offer a mix of games, videos and quizzes, based on CBT principles, help children and young people learn techniques to better understand and manage their symptoms of anxiety or low mood.

Digital CBT is delivered via mobile phones, tablets, or computers and can be accessed remotely and offers flexible access, greater privacy, increased convenience, and increased capacity.

It may be particularly appealing to children and young people who are typically regular users of digital technologies such as smartphones and tablets.

The four technologies are:

  • Lumi Nova (BfB labs)
  • Online Social anxiety Cognitive therapy for Adolescents (OSCA)
  • Online Support and Intervention for child anxiety (OSI)
  • Space from anxiety for teens, space from low mood for teens, space from low mood and anxiety for teens (Silvercloud)

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) believes that earlier treatment could reduce the demand on other treatment options such as face-to-face CBT and potentially prevent progression to more severe symptoms which could be more costly to treat.