Scottish NHS staff offered mental-health apps

Two programs offered for free to front-line workers

Credit: Piqsels

Health and social services workers across Scotland have been given access to two new mental health apps to help them cope with issues such as anxiety or loss of sleep during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NHS-accredited apps, Daylight and Sleepio, have been provided to staff for free to help support their mental health.

With health staff at the frontline of the pandemic response, the move is part of an NHS Scotland national programme aimed at providing health staff with access to practical support.

As part of the PRoMIS National Wellbeing Hub, the apps on offer include programmes designed to help maintain healthy and restorative sleep, reduce anxiety and worry, and to help staff learn evidence-based techniques to address mental health issues when they arise.

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Daylight aims to help with stress and anxiety while Sleepio, the sleeping improvement app, uses cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to help with issues such as insomnia. It has already been rolled out to almost 30,000 residents in the Western Isles.

The apps, which were developed by digital therapeutics company Big Health, are available to everyone working in the NHS in Scotland.

Big Health’s co-founder, professor Colin Espie, said: “I’m honoured that Big Health is able to support our colleagues in NHS Scotland to help safeguard their mental health during these most challenging of times. NHS staff are working under enormous pressure whilst also experiencing significant changes to their lives at home as a result of COVID-19. We built Sleepio and Daylight to help people effectively manage their mental health whether the challenges occur during the night or day.”

Dr Sandra Ferguson, associate director psychology and lead for the National Trauma Training Programme at NHS Education for Scotland added: “There is increasing evidence that insomnia and sleep difficulties is an area that staff in health and social care are increasingly reporting. We are delighted to have worked with Sleepio who have designed this evidence-based app to support staff in resolving these difficulties. A good night’s sleep is a central part of overall wellbeing.”


Sam Trendall

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