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New Digital Support For People Seeking Help With Alcohol And Substance Use

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People affected by drugs or alcohol in Powys now have access to NHS support online through SilverCloud® digital therapy.

SilverCloud by Amwell® digital therapy is a free online service available through NHS Wales, offering a range of guided self-help programmes to help people manage their mental health and wellbeing.

The new programmes, Space from Alcohol and Space from Drug Use, can help individuals who are concerned about mild-to-moderate alcohol or drug use explore their relationship with substances and make informed choices, on their terms.

In 2021 alone, one in six adults in Wales reported drinking more than the recommended low-risk guideline of 14 units per week¹. That same year, it is estimated that around 1 in 11 people used a drug such as cannabis or cocaine².

It can be difficult to reach out for support with alcohol and drugs; many people worry about taking that first step. Digital tools can help break down barriers by supporting people to access help for their concerns early, in a way that fits around their life.

The SilverCloud® service, a leading provider of clinically proven digital support based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy-based (CBT) and Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), is delivered by Powys Teaching Health Board on behalf of NHS Wales, in partnership with Amwell, a digital health enablement platform.

SilverCloud® therapy programmes take 12 weeks and can be accessed online - without a GP referral - from any mobile, tablet or laptop; they’re also supportive, confidential and judgement-free.

Bert Roex, Online CBT Coordinator for SilverCloud® programmes in Wales explains more:

“After the busy festive season, the new year is a time when many people reflect on their lives, consider any changes they’d like to make and set future goals. One of those things may be to look at your alcohol consumption or drug use.

“If you’re thinking about making some changes but aren’t sure where to start, or you want to gain some insights into your drinking or substance use, SilverCloud® alcohol and drug programmes can help you take that step and make changes if, or when, you’re ready.

“They contain lots of useful insights, practical tools and information to support people in developing practical skills and making informed choices. Once you’ve signed up for a programme, you can access it online anytime and you’re free to work through it at your own pace. You’re supported, too; every client is allocated a SilverCloud® Supporter - this is an NHS professional trained in digital CBT - who guides you through the programme and provides regular online feedback.”

Bert continues, “It’s important to make people aware that SilverCloud® programmes are guided self-help for people needing a lower level of support with substance use. If you or a loved one are in crisis, please seek immediate support from a crisis service (Samaritans, C.A.L.L) or healthcare professional.”

For best results clients are advised to engage with the programmes 3-4 times a week for 15-30 minutes each time.

SilverCloud® online mental health support programmes in Wales are funded by the Welsh Government. The online CBT service has helped over 33,000 people manage their mental health and wellbeing since launching in response to the pandemic in 2020.


Find out more: SilverCloud - Free NHS Online Mental Health Therapy - Powys Teaching Health Board

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