Dr. Vincent Agyapong Honoured as Physician Innovator of the Year at 2018 EZMSA Awards

Dr. Vincent Agyapong, a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta

01 April 2018

Dr. Vincent Agyapong, a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta, was among those honoured March 22nd at the 2018 Edmonton Zone Mental Health Staff Association (EZMSA) Awards.
Agyapong, who also serves as Alberta Health Services (AHS) Edmonton Zone Clinical Section Chief for Community Mental Health, was named Physician Innovator of the Year.
The award is intended to honour the physician who, in their daily medical practice:
Adopts and implements new concepts, research, or technology to improve previous practices of medicine;
Is recognized as a pioneer in their field;
Changes how medicine is practiced; and
Injects creativity and/or fun into their work processes to devise better ideas and ways of doing things.
The annual EZMSA Awards event was held this year at Ernest's, a restaurant on the campus of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).
Agyapong was honoured for his work in developing the Text4Mood program, a daily supportive text messaging service for patients struggling with depression and anxiety. Since it was launched by AHS in January 2016, Text4Mood has attracted roughly 20,000 subscribers.
The Text4Mood program has since been recognized by the Mental Health Innovations Network, headquartered at the World Health Organization's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.
Text4Mood was first devised as a means for residents of Northern Alberta to overcome typically long wait times and geographical barriers to accessing psychological counselling for addiction and mental health issues.
Patients who subscribe to the program receive regular supportive text messages for six months, starting a day after they subscribe.
Patients are able to self-subscribe to the program by simply texting the word 'mood' to a designated phone number. They can unsubscribe from the program by texting the word 'stop' to the same number.
Before launching the Text4Mood program, Dr. Agyapong led a team of researchers who demonstrated, through a randomized controlled trial in Fort McMurray, that daily supportive text messages are an effective adjunction psychological treatment for patients with major depressive disorder.