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SilverCloud® by Amwell® partners with Honeysuckle Health

1st July 2024

SilverCloud® by Amwell® partners with Honeysuckle Health to deliver evidence-based digital mental health support to 800,000 people across Australia

Program achieves 80% cost reduction compared to telephone or face-to-face interventions and reduces clinical wait times providing faster access to support

The Challenge

The mental health landscape in Australia has changed over the past few years, particularly since COVID-19, which put immense pressure on the healthcare system. Add Australian's concerns about cost-of-living, and clinical wait times for patients and these factors are only fuel to the mental health challenges many Australians face.

Today, one in five Australians (4.3 million people) struggle with mental health issues[1]. Results from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing found that during the height of the COVID, 21.4 per cent of Australians experienced a mental health disorder in the previous 12 months. Almost half (47.1 per cent) of those who had a mental health disorder in 2020 and 2021 sought support, an increase since the last study in 20071.

Wait times for patients seeking the support of a mental health professional stretched extensively, creating sizable treatment gaps. According to the Black Dog Institute, the mental health medical research organization, in 2022, 75 per cent of psychologists had a patient waitlist[2]. This delay is more than an administrative bottleneck. It impacts patients’ mental and physical health.

Furthermore, one-third of psychologists from the Black Dog Institute study said they couldn’t take on new clients. Recent data suggests that less than half of people who need mental health treatment can access it. Of those who do, only 14 per cent receive evidence-based treatment that’s based on research rather than the opinion of a mental health professional2.

For Honeysuckle Health, the health services and specialist data science company, the gap between those who need care and those who can access it was an opportunity to champion change. It was also a chance for Honeysuckle Health to invest earlier in people’s health and wellbeing given the challenges related to care access.

Honeysuckle Health launched as a joint venture between insurer nib Group and global health insurer Cigna Corporation. Honeysuckle Health uses insights to understand future healthcare risks, support decision-making and deliver interventions to improve health outcomes at both individual and population levels.

Honeysuckle Health believed that a substantial portion of mental health hospitalizations could be prevented through proactive outpatient management and care. However, the healthcare industry’s reluctance to invest in prevention, given its long-term benefits but delayed results, has led to only a marginal allocation of healthcare costs industrywide—roughly 2-3 per cent each year - toward mental health prevention.

With a system that’s ill-equipped to deliver adequate patient behavioural health support, Honeysuckle Health knew something needed to change.

The Solution

SilverCloud® by Amwell® was the perfect platform partner for an evidence-based digital mental health offering. Anchored in an innovative and highly configurable platform, SilverCloud® provides programs for adults, young people and children seeking treatment for a variety of mental health symptoms from depression and anxiety to chronic conditions. Its ‘therapist in my pocket’ model provides 24/7 access and fosters user engagement.

SilverCloud is the trusted platform used by the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. Nearly one million people in the UK have used the virtual therapy program after receiving a referral from the NHS. SilverCloud is now part of the guidance provided by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) evidence-based recommendations developed by independent committees, comprised of healthcare professionals and lay members and consulted on by stakeholders.

Honeysuckle Health offers various levels of support and treatment via an innovative digital front door that SilverCloud enables. Users can use clinically validated measures to triage their mental health needs. Some people work on the platform in a self-guided mode, some have the addition of asynchronous support from their clinician, and others have a blended approach along with telephone coaching and support. The SilverCloud platform provides clients with personalised care between every review session and gives time-strapped clinicians the ability to offer a blended approach and minimize waitlists.
SilverCloud offers programmes based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with content and interactive tools suitable for monitoring wellbeing or a mental health intervention. The platform can also work alongside a higher intensity treatment as a ‘homework tool’, allowing users to do therapy work at home in addition to treatment sessions. Usage patterns showcase engagement and access points, emphasizing the importance of adaptable 24/7 resources to 'meet’ those in need at the point of readiness.

Honeysuckle Health is using this digital mental health model to provide Australians with early identification and intervention options that support positive mental health outcomes.

According to platform data, the time clinicians spend with SilverCloud is one quarter of the amount they would in traditional remote therapy delivery. That means each clinician can treat up to four times the number of members and free up time to support more patients with higher needs.

This is a huge win for mental health accessibility in Australia as more people get faster access to the right treatment at the right level and can engage in a way and at a time that best suits their needs.

Clinical Psychologist and Principal of Digital Behavioural Health Transformation, Amwell Dr Carolyn Lorian notes the importance of partnerships to achieve global mental health goals.

“The partnership between Honeysuckle Health and SilverCloud by Amwell was part of our aligned global mission to make mental health solutions more accessible,” Lorian, said.

“We are excited to work alongside Honeysuckle Health to deliver our flexible evidence-based behavioural and mental health solutions to Australians.”

Continual growth in clinical improvement measured through reliable metrics, like The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7 screen measures, underlined the success of the SilverCloud platform integration. Year-on-year comparisons showcased an increasing trend in positive clinical outcomes.

“The varied usage patterns show that our approach benefits patients immensely, giving them the power to work on their mental health when it’s most convenient. Support is available when users wish to find a quiet time to engage in their mental health and wellbeing. Some logins will be more than 30 minutes and others might only take five minutes. It’s about users finding a time that works for them. Our partnership with SilverCloud has enabled our stepped model of care approach to mental health and empowered individuals to thrive on their journey toward holistic wellbeing.” said Honeysuckle Health’s Chief Growth Officer, Cass Frei.

The partnership means that members of NIB and Honeysuckle Health have access to the SilverCloud platform’s evidence-based programmes via self-referral. During this phase of the programme, the person would be supported by a trained

The Results

Honeysuckle’s collaboration with the SilverCloud platform has resulted in many gains for individuals and the organisations they serve, including:

  • Efficacy of Care: The platform led to impressive levels of clinical improvement at an average of 62%. Most notably, the clinical improvement rate is at +65% for those in the severe range of clinical depression.
  • Cost Reduction: Leveraging SilverCloud enabled a significant reduction in case costs. Digital mental health care programs can cost up to 80% less than telephone or face-to-face programs.
  • Increased Access: the SilverCloud integration has improved accessibility to mental health support and allowed Honeysuckle Health to accommodate twice the number of patients at a significantly lower cost.
  • Enhanced Accessibility: The improved accessibility to mental health support has allowed Honeysuckle Health to accommodate twice the number of patients at a significantly lower cost. SilverCloud facilitated immediate access to mental health services allowing Honeysuckle to serve around 800,000 individuals through digital programs. This shift represents a substantial leap forward in providing timely, accessible, and cost-efficient mental health care to those in need.
  • Establishing Stepped Digital Care Pathways: Beyond depression and anxiety programs, Honeysuckle Health already diversifies its offerings to include chronic pain for depression and anxiety, social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic, resilience, sleep, and mindfulness programs.

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing, 2020 -2022

[2] Black Dog Institute, “Could ‘blended care’ fill the shortage in Australia’s mental health workforce?”, 9 October 2023

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