Smart System To Combat Mental Health Disorders

Vijayawada: George Institute for Global Health India has launched an intervention project for improvement of mental health services in India through existing primary health care system in Andhra Pradesh and Haryana.

The multi-faceted primary health care intervention known as ’Smart’ mental health involves a community based anti-stigma campaign and a mobile device-based decision support system to improve management of adults at high risk of common mental health disorders.

The iconducted a policy symposium on mental health in Vijayawada on Monday to explore how the package and intervention can contribute to the district mental health programme and strengthen mental health care delivery model in the state, both among rural adult, and urban slum residing adolescent populations.

“The aim is to evaluate the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a multifaceted primary healthcare worker intervention in 44 Primary Health Centers (PHCs) in AP and Haryana,” said Dr. Pallab Maulik, research head, George Institute for Global Health, India. He explained that they have carried out a pilot project involving community health workers in five PHCs (covering 42 villages with over 50,000 population) in West Godavari district and found that a mobile-based decision support system works well to address treatment gap. He said they have decided to expand the programme with the new project.

He said that they would extend the study among adolescents in urban slums and would conduct a programme in Vijayawada and Delhi involving adolescents aged 10-19 years to increase their understanding of stress and depression; identify risk factors and coping strategies adopted by adolescents and increase the capacity of primary care health workers to manage common stressful problems faced by adolescents.-Times Of India

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