Communications Teams at HRSA, SAMHSA, VA, and NCI Used Apps, Social Media to Support Pandemic Health Needs

“Technology has played a powerful  role in providing individuals with mental and physical health services  amid COVID-19, both in making them aware of what resources are available through strategic communications and in the abilities offered through telehealth and remote care.”

“Mental health and health communications leaders touched on the amplifying role of IT and digital services for both getting word out to patients about different resources  and for health service delivery throughout the COVID-19 pandemic during  GovernmentCIO Media & Research’s Health IT: New Horizons in Medicine event last week.”

“Strategic outreach has been a strong focus for agencies amid the pandemic, both in building trust with the public and in making them aware of key resources for mental and  physical health. Taking a multi-pronged approach to this outreach has  been a critical element.”

“Health Resources and Services  Administration Deputy Director of Communications Christy Choi emphasized that pushing social media campaigns on the COVID-19 uninsured claims  program was a massive pivot and undertaking to help Americans amid the  pandemic. HRSA put out about a year’s worth of social media posts in  just four or five months…”

“Christina Armstrong,  clinical psychologist at the Veterans Health Administration Office of  Connected Care, said various apps her agency launched aided in the pivot  to remote care, strengthening the digital mental health experience for veterans.”

“’We’ve created new technologies that didn’t exist before that are specific to COVID, so we  created the COVID Coach Mobile App,’ Armstrong said. ‘Usually it takes  about three years to create a mobile app in the federal government,  which might be surprising to people, but they were able to shift really quickly and create this app in mere months, and… now we have about a  quarter million people that have already downloaded this app and are  benefiting and tracking their mental health that way…'” Read the full article here.

Source: Communications Teams Used Apps, Social Media to Support Pandemic Health Needs – By Melissa Harris, February 1, 2021. GovernmentCIO.

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