Working with Mental Health services in Western Isles


In the Western Isles, the local team developed a wellbeing plan for a gentleman whose mental health was poor. His diet was unhealthy and this, plus a lack of exercise also meant he was overweight. He suffered from anxiety and worried about finance – and all of this combined negatively affected his sleep.

The lack of sleep was partially causing this persons poor choices, leading to poor health and resolving this would be a major step towards improving his situation. The mPower team directed him towards a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Application for insomnia called Sleepio.

The Sleepio App is a digital therapeutic tool intended for the improvement of poor sleep and the management of Insomnia Disorder in adults aged 18 years and older, as an adjunct to their usual medical care. It involves a sleep program over six weeks designed by scientific experts at a number of UK and US institutions including the University of Oxford and Harvard Medical School. It is based on cognitive and behavioural techniques.

The tool includes personalized sessions each week lasting 20 minutes, tabs to keep track of sleep patterns, a sleep optimization plan designed around the individual’s specific needs and weekly community chats with sleep experts.

Though Sleepio could potentially help this person, he did not have a device or connectivity which proved to be a significant barrier. This stumbling block was overcome when the mPower team secured a device and connectivity for two years for the patient. The team also showed him how to use the device and have been supporting him regularly to get more used to it.

Whilst working with this older person, the team also referred him to dieticians and the Move More programme to help him with exercise and weight loss. It was through his referral to a dietician that his diabetes was identified, something that may well have escaped notice without the mPower wellbeing plan and the subsequent actions he took.

Using the Sleepio App has had a positive impact on the man’s health. His sleeping patters have improved and as a result of better diet and more exercise he has more energy.

His Community Navigator has encouraged him to take part in digital education classes so that he can make more use of his new laptop and the added bonus is that he is mixing with other people in these classes, increasing his social interaction and offering more frequent engagement with people which has also helped to improve his overall wellbeing.