Silvercloud for mental health

Nationwide, universities report a 30% increase in demand for mental health services despite only 6% increases in student enrollment (1).

To meet the increasing demand and variety of mental health concerns experienced by college students, OSU CCS offers a variety of solutions.  You can learn more about this variety on our mental health options page.

This blog post discusses an innovative service for OSU students called Silvercloud.

What is Silvercloud?

  • Silvercloud is an online, self-paced, computerized Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) based program to help you learn ways to feel better by addressing, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
  • Additional features and benefits include:
  • Self-paced so you can do it on your own at any time.
  • Modules and programs based on your needs.
  • It can be done on a variety of electronic devices.
  • It can be done on its own or in addition to other mental health services.
  • Here is a video: https://vimeo.com/502522528

What types of concerns can Silvercloud address?

  • Silvercloud has programs to help you improve Anxiety, Depression, Covid, Sleep, Resiliency, and Stress.

Does Silvercloud work?

  • There are over 40 research papers on this subject.
  • Some highlights include:
  •  60% of users showed significant reduction in depression scores, 56% showed a significant reduction in anxiety scores, and symptom reduction was maintained 3 months post follow up (2).
  • A subsequent study in  the journal Nature digital health showed improvements lasting  12 months after program completion (3).
  • 85% of users see improvement in depression and anxiety scores (3).
  • It is offered by hundreds of universities, public and private organizations, health insurance plans, even the National Health Service in the United Kingdom offers this service to their users.
  • 94% of users said they found the program helpful (3).

What are some caveats?

  • Silvercloud is not for mental health crisis, or emergencies.
  • Silvercloud does NOT replace professional mental health treatment.
  • Some students may prefer or be more appropriate for teletherapy, telepsychiatry, or in person mental health treatment, with or without Silvercloud.
  • Silvercloud is mostly based on Cognitive behavioral therapy and some students may benefit from other therapy modalities for mental health support.

How can I access Silvercloud?

To get started,

  1. Create a SilverCloud Account: https://osu.silvercloudhealth.com/signup/
  2. Log in to your SilverCloud Account:  https://osu.silvercloudhealth.com/
  3. Download the SilverCloud app on Apple App Store or Google Play

 

By R. Ryan S Patel DO, FAPA OSU-CCS Psychiatrist

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.

References:

  1. https://sites.psu.edu/ccmh/fi les/2018/02/2017_CCMH_Report-1r4m88x.pdf
  2. Palacios JE, Richards D, Palmer R, Coudray C, Hofmann SG, Palmieri PA, Frazier P, Supported Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Programs for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress in University Students: Open, Non-Randomised Trial of Acceptability, Effectiveness, and Satisfaction, JMIR Ment Health 2018;5(4):e11467
  3. Mental Health Research  |  SilverCloud Health

Smartphone Apps for Mental Health

By R. Ryan S Patel DO, FAPA OSU-CCS Psychiatrist

Most people today are familiar with apps for smartphones.  There are apps for many different purposes including mental health. In fact in 2015, mental health apps made up almost a third of disease specific apps in app marketplaces (1).

Some but not all apps are evidence based, researched, and known to work and some other apps are based on evidence based skills.

A 2017 meta review of studies looked at 190 individual papers researching 147 unique digital health tools and found that there may be some benefit of using apps for depression and anxiety but unclear benefit for other disorders at the time of publication. They also found research and method limitations for many studies (2).

A recent study looked at an app called “Virtual hope box” (VHB) (3).

Who was studied? (3)

  • 118 U.S. service veterans receiving mental health treatment and had a recent history of suicidal ideation.
  • They were divided into two groups.
  • One group received mental health treatment as usual supplemented with the VHB app and another group received treatment as usual supplemented with printed materials about coping with suicidality over a 12-week period.

What was measured? (3)

Using validated scales, the study authors measured coping, suicidal ideation, reasons for living, perceived stress and interpersonal needs at various points of the study.

What were the results? (3)

  • Participants using virtual hope box app showed improvements in their ability to cope with unpleasant emotions and thoughts over time.
  • Users found the app helpful for relaxation and distraction or inspiration when feeling distressed, when emotions were overwhelming, or when they felt like hurting themselves.
  • Participants found it easy to use, helpful in dealing with stress and emotional difficulties, likely to use in the future, and would recommended to others.

What are some caveats?

  • This is a small study and may not be applicable to everyone.
  • There are many apps for mental health but research in this area is limited.
  • Newer apps are being introduced frequently.
  • This is a new field of research, and as we learn more, study designs and outcome measures are being improved upon.
  • Not all the apps are free.
  • Mental health apps do not take place of professional treatment.
  • Your mental health professional may be helpful in considering the right app mental health for you.
  • There are many apps that use evidence based techniques such as apps for cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation skills, prolonged exposure, dialectical behavior therapy, mindfulness based apps, etc.
    • One such example is the OSUCCS app, which can be obtained from the app store.

How much time are you spending on your phone? How are apps in general impacting your mental health? Which app is helping you and which is not?

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.

References:

  1. IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. (2015). Patient adoption of mHealth: Use, evidence and remaining barriers to mainstream acceptance. Parsippany, NJ: IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
  2. Hollis, C., Falconer, C. J., Martin, J. L., Whittington, C., Stockton, S., Glazebrook, C. and Davies, E. B. (2017), Annual Research Review: Digital health interventions for children and young people with mental health problems – a systematic and meta-review. J Child Psychol Psychiatr, 58: 474–503. doi:10.1111/jcpp.12663
  3. Nigel E. Bush, Ph.D., Derek J. Smolenski, Ph.D., Lauren M. Denneson, Ph.D., Holly B. Williams, B.A., Elissa K. Thomas, L.P.N., C.C.R.C., Steven K. Dobscha, M.D. A Virtual Hope Box: Randomized Controlled Trial of a Smartphone App for Emotional Regulation and Coping With Distress.  Psychiatric Services 2017; 68:330–336; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201600283.