“” Again Recognized at the Highest Level as Being Effective

February 28, 2017

“Colour your life” ( is an e-mental health program for adults. It is aimed at dealing independently with symptoms of depression. During a new assessment by the Center for Healthy Living of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (Centrum Gezond Leven van het RIVM) the program developed by the Trimbos Institute maintained its highest level ranking: effective with strong proofs. consists of eight lessons, with a refresher lesson after twelve weeks. The lessons can be taken independently on the internet. They contain: written and spoken information, three brief videos of three representative people taking the course, animations, and homework. For example, the client has lessons about relaxing, worrying less, and positive thinking. The program is based on cognitive behavioral therapy.

Proven effectiveness
The effectiveness of is proven by several studies. These compared the e-mental health program for adults with other online programs and with control groups on a waiting list. In all cases proved equally effective as other programs in reducing symptoms of depression. In two studies it was more effective than the control group on the waiting list. Four international meta-analyses about online programs and depression support the positive findings.

Practice therefore helps people in reducing symptoms of depression. However, are these results actually being effected in practice? Yes, is actively offered as self-help tool, but also in general practitioners offices, and in basic mental healthcare. General practitioners offices offer the program more and more with support of a mental healthcare manager. This way the general practitioner has an effective, efficient and low-key treatment tool available for a large group of patients. Continued interest for implementing e-mental health programs will continue to be required from the government, health insurers and care providers.

The (Dutch language) assessment of can be found at the website of Loket gezond leven.

The Trimbos Institute developed The program is being offered via New Health Collective.

Colour your life had been implemented in primary care. Download the report for the results of the implementation in Dutch general practices and the lessons learned. 


Odile  Smeets

Odile Smeets

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