Free mental health and insomnia apps available in care for our carers initiative
Free mental health and insomnia apps available in care for our carers initiative

All staff and volunteers within adult social care providers can now access free apps to cope with insomnia and anxiety to help ‘care for our carers’ and support the mental health of the social care workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health technology specialists Big Health and the Care Provider Alliance have announced a partnership to provide all 1.6 million members of the alliance and volunteers with evidence-based digital programmes to protect and support their mental health during the COVID-19 crisis. The digital programmes are designed to help maintain healthy and restorative sleep, reduce anxiety and worry, and to help them learn evidence-based techniques to address mental health issues when they arise.

The NHS-accredited apps Daylight - designed to help with worry and anxiety - and Sleepio - a digital sleep improvement programme, both featuring Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques - have been developed by digital therapeutics company Big Health. This partnership builds on a recent announcement by NHS England to provide free access to Daylight and Sleepio to all NHS staff.

Following the recent news that a third of all coronavirus deaths in England are now happening in care homes, staff across the social care sector are being placed under enormous pressure to limit the spread of the virus, arrange intensive care for residents and cope with the loss of more occupants than usual, all whilst continuing to carry out their care responsibilities.

Big Health co-founder and professor of sleep medicine at the University of Oxford, Professor Colin Espie, has praised the Care Provider Alliance for its commitment to protecting the mental health of care staff and volunteers during the pandemic.

Professor Espie said: “I’m honoured that Big Health is able to partner with the Care Provider Alliance to support our colleagues and volunteers in the social care sector to help protect their mental health during these most challenging of times. With the whole care sector being so valuable to the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 across the country, we recognise these staff are 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, round the clock.”

Lisa Lenton, Care Provider Alliance chair, added: “We are delighted to partner with Big Health to help support the mental health of our key workers. Facing challenges such as a lack of PPE and concerns about their own personal health, care staff are under extraordinary pressure to deliver their services and keep people safe in these times. At the same time our colleagues are also managing their own personal lives, so it is vital they have the right support and resources to keep them mentally healthy. The evidence-based techniques Sleepio and Daylight offer will give our key workers instant access to the vital support they need so they can continue to deliver their high quality care services as well as manage any stress they may be experiencing in their personal lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Related: Roche launches Covid 19 antibody test in 20 US labs