Scottish Enterprise Awards 2021

28 | Scottish Enterprise Awards 2021 company almost £1 million in sales, which Kate was pleased to donate to the national health crisis. Having recently won the prestigious accolade of Most Innovative Mental Health Training Company 2021 in the Scottish Enterprise Awards, Kate is now exploring how online learning overall could be improved in her field and tells us that much of her work is like an internal ‘thinktank’ which consists of trying to predict where the technology developments will take the world next. “I don’t want to feel tied by traditional methods but mental health training still needs to be recognisable. There are still large parts of the profession who simply refuse to touch technology, despite the many benefits to our work,” she concludes, thus giving us hope for the future. Contact: Dr Kate Anthony Company: Online Therapy Institute Web Address: Founded in 2008, the Online Therapy Institute provides international expertise in the field of telemental health as well as global training. We find out more about the company, and how it fared during the pandemic, as we speak to Co-Founder, Dr Kate Anthony. The Online Therapy Institute (OTI) exists to offer bespoke training and consultancy to the field of technology in mental health. Comprised of both academics and on-the-ground mental health professionals, OTI prides itself on expert knowledge and experience to offer mental health practitioners the tools to offer an online therapeutic or coaching service. The company achieves this with the publication of textbooks and other learning materials, online courses, media representation and consultancy. Tutors at OTI are mostly doctors in the field of technology and mental health, which clearly demonstrates the company’s commitment to its work, and all tutors possess a certain open attitude to the field. “We are the longest established training company in the field and are not afraid to stick our necks out on behalf of therapists and clients in steering this traditionally rejected field,” elaborates Dr Kate Anthony who founded the company, along with Dee Anna Merz Nagel. “We were also the only training company in the field to offer free-of-charge training to upskill practitioners in light of lockdowns and Covid (with more than over 15,000 trained).” Covid-19 impacted hugely on the company as the need for training to work online soared. Despite job losses happening due to the pandemic, Kate was able to offer new contracts to five new staff, which has enriched her tutor team immensely. She tells us more about what she experienced within the industry during the pandemic. “Our field of Online Therapy is Covid-friendly and so we found ourselves much in need. However, as the lockdowns diminish, it feels the mental health profession is backsliding into apathy about how positive the use of technology in mental health can be. The profession got a massive wakeup call Most Innovative Mental Health Training Company 2021 with Covid-19, and my company is steering the opportunities it has given us - the impact is mostly around acceptance of technology in our work and, since Covid, often the importance of it.” In fact, Kate and her partner (who is also a lead expert in the field) co-authored a crisis course publication entitled Moving Your Practice Online, which launched in March 2020 as soon as the pair realised the impact that the enforced lockdowns would have on client work. “My central thought was that everyone would rush to get online with NO knowledge of the subtleties and nuances of the online therapeutic relationship, not to mention the ethical and client safety considerations,” Kate explains. “We created an online self-paced short course to give the essentials of working online, which we offered at a range of prices, including for free, to ensure practitioners who were suddenly financially compromised due to Covid didn’t miss out on the opportunity.” The course was Quality Checked by the National Counselling Society (NCS) and has since been endorsed by them. Overall, the endeavour cost the Oct21753