A digital helping hand is about to be trialled in Somerset to provide tailored support for people with mental health issues or learning disabilities.
The County Council is working with Brain in Hand, a personalised app that links the user with their carers and support teams. It provides people with their own specific ways to cope, with extra help on tap when needed.
Brain in Hand is already used in other parts of the country by local authorities, universities, schools and colleges, and employers. The app aims to increase a user’s independence by providing them with ways to manage their everyday life and negotiate a path that’s safe for them.
It is tailored to the individual’s needs –giving them the confidence to go out, to study or shop – to do what is important to them.
It can give prompts and reminders and links to verbal responders or people’s own circle of support, who can intervene when asked, offering reassurance and the help needed to get back on track.
All the information in a user’s app is produced with them, their carers or supporters and put down in language that makes sense to them so they can keep their day on an even keel.
Councillor David Huxtable said: “It is so important to give people the chance to lead independent lives with back-up when it’s needed.
“Brain in Hand could be the help needed for people making the move to independent living, starting work or training and we will monitor the trial with great interest.
“It is also in tune with our prevention policy – being on the front foot, getting ahead of demand and preventing issues from escalating. If technologies exist that help that aim, we need to harness them.”