To Psychiatry Pro
THE PROBLEMThe historical marginalization of mental health from mainstream health and welfare services in many countries has contributed to endemic stigmatization and discrimination of mentally ill people. It has also meant that mental health has received low priority in most public health agendas with consequences on budget, policy planning and service development. Only a very small percentage of national health budgets in most countries goes to mental health. At present, the mental health budget in most countries constitutes less than 1% of total (public sector) health expenditure. More than 40% of Countries have no clear mental health policy and more than 30% have no national mental health programme. We know that one out of every four persons who turn to the health services for help is troubled by mental or behavioural disorders, which are not often correctly diagnosed and/or treated. And mental health care has simply not received until now the level of visibility, commitment and resources that is warranted by the magnitude of the mental health burden. One consequence of this inadequate attention is the “treatment gap” – the gulf between the huge numbers who need treatment and the small minority who actually receive it.
It's hard enough having a mental health problem what is harder is getting help for it which leads to a person enduring through their pain and suffering needlessly making their condition worse in the process. Worldwide, more than 70% of young people and adults with mental illness do not seek help and do not receive any mental health treatment meaning only 1 in every 3 person seeks helps for the mental health symptoms that they are experiencing.There are different factors that might be an influencing factor in this but a lot has to do with issues around confidentiality,anonymity,the expectation to brave through one;s problems,lack of available services,people’s negative perception of the mental health services and a fear of being judged and labelled to list a few.
There is also a tendency for people to be reluctant to reveal they have a mental illness which reaffirms the sad reality that mental illness still faces a persistent social taboo.Admitting to a mental health condition is deemed much harder than confessing to going bankrupt.This leads to self-isolation and not getting the help that the sufferer badly needs.
Studies show that improving knowledge instills positive attitudes,which results in increased help seeking.Stigma shames people into silence but awareness,information and open discussion can change that.Thus the onus is on us to spread the word,change perceptions & attitudes and become part of this movement to promote mental health which currently the world desperately needs.
Today due to widespread availability of the internet and smartphones and the app-stores, we are in a good position to make use of the accumulated wealth of knowledge available and get help to those who are in need.This shall allow us to more effectively diagnose,manage, treat and prevent a wide range of mental illnesses and improve the lives of many.The added benefit of this medium include easy availability leading to improved worldwide access, maintenance of anonymity and low-cost to service ratio.
Medical Science has made huge strides in developing effective treatments for most of the mental disorders and further improvements in treatments are likely to continue thanks to advances in the understanding of brain functioning and psychosocial factors.With the current treatments, most persons with mental, brain or behavioural disorders can become functioning and productive members of the community and live normal lives,given that they be aware of their diagnosis and then subsequently get treatment for it.
An initiative was made to develop a delivery system that would make mental health assessments,information,treatment via psychotherapy easily and widely accessible.
The vision is for a system that allows users to have a full psychiatric screening assessment with Diagnosis made only as per the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) which is currently the Gold Standard for Diagnosing Mental Health Disorders.
The Automated Assessment Algorithm uses simple Yes/No answers provided by users to questions compares them to the current guidelines (DSM-V Diagnostic & Statistical Manual v) for diagnosis and then screens for and reports any mental illness detected which actually exactly what a Psychiatrist does in an actual assessment .
Our vision includes making the users become more informed about their psychiatric condition & to impart knowledge about the different treatment options available as this has been shown to improve rates of availing treatment & adhering to it. The information is organised in an easy to understand manner and ranges from the basic know-how of the different conditions to highly detailed and elaborate explanation of all the different aspects of each disease. It also contains all the current guidelines for the optimum treatment of different conditions,medication mechanisms of action,possible side-effects, different interactions and respective considerations & precautions.
The database not only includes information about the efficacy and effectiveness of different Pharmacological interventions but also of the different available Psychotherapies(talking therapies) and evidence based information such as randomised controlled trials and results of meta-analyses of the different modalities of management and their different success rates.
Psychotherapy via Self-help CBT
Then in the next stage ,the app will provide Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Materials for all the different Mental health disorders designed to be used in a Self-help setting with interactive materials and worksheets.Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a highly acclaimed and most widely used form of Psychotherapy.The clinically proven principle is that our thoughts,feelings and behaviours are interconnected and changing one can change the other and thus help alleviate symptoms of mental health disorders.This is a very simplistic view but our App contains a Basic Principles of CBT Course followed by diagnoses specific courses divided into modules.
Usually after being seen by a Psychiatrist once you are referred to a Psychologist which usually takes about 3-6 month waiting list after being referred.Several factors are responsible such as limited number of clinicians available to provide CBT.Clinicians who are well-trained and experienced in CBT are in short supply. In addition, the treatment is time consuming (usually 8-10 sessions each 45-60 mins long) and expensive(costing about 50-60 USD for each session), and patients with limited financial resources usually cannot access CBT and even those do still have to wait weeks in between sessions due to high patient numbers.
This is where Our App can come in and radically change the picture.The appeal of administering psychotherapy through this mediium includes improved access, decreased costs, and anonymity. In addition, these electronic resources may enable patients to monitor their mood and behavior, and in the future to receive real time guidance ,redirection,information and advice tailored to their specific needs.
Psychotherapy via e-CBTPsychiatry PRO-Project .Reach Out App includes a Mood & Thought Record Diary which are essentially parts of CBT.in addition an E-CBT Video series simulating real life Psychotherapy Sessions is being produced by Our Trained CBT Therapist is currently working on a Video Series ,which is first of its kind E-CBT series.The videos will be emulating real life clinical Psychotherapy sessions.The videos will each be 45-60 minutes duration and each diagnosis will have 8-10 videos in the respective programme and will cover the common psychiatric condtions with the aim of providing CBT in the comfort of your own home and with no time constraints and the added benefit of having the ability to go over the videos over and over thereby reinforcing the things learnt.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THE APP WILL BE PROVIDED FREE OF COST AS OUR INTENTION IS TO SERVE HUMANITY AND DO A SERVICE AND SPREAD HAPPINESS.THE ONLY FEATURE WE WILL CHARGE FOR IN ORDER TO GENERATE REVENUE FOR THE PROJECT,TO SUSTAIN ITSELF,IS THE E-CBT VIDEO SERIES. THIS WOULD AGAIN BE AT A NOMINAL PRICE TO MAKE IT AFFORDABLE AND SO THAT A LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE CAN BENEFIT FROM IT .THE VIDEO SERIES WILL INCLUDE ABOUT 8-10 VIDEOS EMULATING REAL LIFE PSYCHOTHERAPY SESSIONS AT A FRACTION OF THE PRICE. A SINGLE SUCH SESSION LASTING 45-60 MINUTES USUALLY COSTS ABOUT 60$. WE WILL PROVIDE OUR COMPLETE E-CBT SERIES OF 10 VIDEOS AT A PRICE LESS THAN HALF THE COST OF ONE SESSION.
Personal DevelopmentApp also includes a detailed Personal Development CBT section with Written Interactive Self-help Programmes based on Cognitive Behavior Therapy with Worksheets and exercises. This includes Detailed programmes arranged into modules and covers topics such as Procrastination, Anger Management, Self-Esteem, Assertiveness, Self-love, Perfectionism, Mindfulness.
In addition to the E-CBT Video series simulating real life Psychotherapy Sessions, Team plans to implement One-on-one Video/Audio Psychiatric Consultation with a Psychiatrist, One-on-one Video Psychotherapy sessions & Group Audio Support Sessions in the future with Our Trained CBT Therapist,Psychotherapist & Life-Coach.Which will Enable us to build a truly comprehensive and all encompassing E-Mental Health Delivery Service,where the end users will have one-on-one access to Psychiatrists, Doctors, Psychologists ,CBT Therapists, Counselors and life coaches and they can use the medium to book appointments and avail of same via video chat.
There is a seperate Suicide Prevention section and many other features such as one-on-one Video/Audio Psychiatric Assessment with a Psychiatrist,one-on-one Video Psychotherapy sessions & Group Audio Support Sessions that the team is either currently working or plans to implement in the future.
The problems facing mental health are multi-factorial such as a worldwide dearth of resources,lack of quality treatment provision,scarcity of Trained Psychiatrists & Psychotherapists Financial constraints,Difficulty getting appointments,long waiting times,stigma & negative perceptions around mental health,problems of confidentiality or a sense of shame in admitting if you have a Mental disease,so that even in places where available often Mental Health Services are not availed at all,
With the increasing incidence of Mental Health Disorders and the limiting factors outlined above we decided to start a Project to Reach Out to those who need it,It is felt by ourselves that we need a new fresh approach which will provide a Comprehensive Mental Health Service available to everyone all over the world regardless of where they might be and that is why this App is being developed.This is an opportunity for reducing mental illness which is synonymous with suffering, disability & poverty all over the world.
The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” -Steve Jobs