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This paper presents an overview of the evolution and current status of digital mental health in Ireland. The focus is on user-facing, technology-enabled mental health services and applications. Because of the accelerated deployment of remote service delivery models during the COVID-19 crisis, the paper maps the evolutionary trajectory of digital mental health in Ireland according to three phases – before, during, and after the pandemic. It presents results of work on this topic by the authors within the framework of the eMEN Interreg project, including an online presentation at an international seminar [1] and an Irish policy analysis [2].Figure 1 presents a schematic view of three phases in the evolution of digital mental health in Ireland. The following sections briefly discuss the situation and developments in each phase.
In the period before the pandemic there was no overall policy or strategy on digital mental health in Ireland. A state-of-the-art report in 2018 presented a detailed overview of the field and identified a range of services and applications already utilised in Ireland [3]. In general, there was growing awareness of the potential and some utilisation in practice, but implementation was not systemic. However, the field was gradually evolving through a range of “top-down” and “bottom-up” processes, and these were beginning to come together and generate some momentum.
From the bottom-up perspective, some service providers were already utilising digital mental health approaches in a variety of ways, Irish-developed digital mental health products were beginning to become available, and innovation support initiatives such as the eMEN Interreg project were supporting developments through awareness-raising and proof of concept activities…


This paper provides an overview of the development and current status of digital mental health in Ireland. It will present the results of the work carried out on this topic as part of Interreg Europe’s eMEN project. This charts the trajectory of digital mental health developments in Ireland across three phases: pre-, mid-, and post-COVID-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic hit, the field of digital mental health was gradually growing through a combination of bottom-up and top-down activities. The pandemic triggered a rapid shift to the online provision of mental health services, which often involved remote consultations via video platforms. As we come out of the pandemic, the focus has shifted to consolidating these pandemic-driven changes, as well as continuing to build on existing initiatives. This article outlines the key elements of each phase, as well discussing certain key issues that should be factored into healthcare policies and provision. These include quality assurance frameworks designed to cover a range of digital mental health applications, as well as new ontological frameworks to characterize the emerging ecosystem of technology-based care in the post-pandemic “new normal”.

  • connected health
  • mental health
  • telehealth
  • innovation
  • new technologies
  • connected object
  • Ireland
  • healthcare services
Kevin Cullen
Innovation Team member
Mental Health Reform
Dominika Topolska
Innovation Team member
Mental Health Reform
Dominique Phillips
Innovation Team member
Mental Health Reform
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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