Wednesday April 24, 2019

Digital Games may Improve Mental Health, boost their Academics in Refugee Kids in War-Torn Regions

The study participants included 147 Syrian refugee children, aged 9 to 14

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Refugee Kids
Refugee Kids: Children, who fled fighting in South Sudan, stand inside a tented classroom at the Bidi Bidi refugee resettlement camp near the border with South Sudan, in northern Uganda, Dec. 7, 2016. VOA
  • The study participants included 147 Syrian refugee children, aged 9 to 14
  • Digital games may help boost their academics as well as improve their mental health
  • Play based intervention was not only effective but also one in which the children were engaged and wanted to continue doing

New York, June 7, 2017: Providing technological interventions such as digital games to children living as refugees in warn-torn regions may help boost their academics as well as improve their mental health, a research has found.

Refugee children often do not enroll in the education system partly because of language barriers, and they often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

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The findings showed that digital games can effectively teach refugee children much-needed skills including a new language, cognitive skills, while also improving their mental health.

“The study shows that even with limited resources, and language barriers, we can make a difference in the lives of children through leveraging technology,” said Selcuk Sirin, Professor at the New York University.

The games also improved children’s executive functions and cognitive skills such as their ability to plan, monitor, and alter behaviours.

In addition, the intervention significantly lowered children’s sense of hopelessness and despair.

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The study participants included 147 Syrian refugee children, aged 9 to 14.

Play based intervention was not only effective but also one in which the children were engaged and wanted to continue doing, the researchers suggested, while presenting the paper at the BAU International University in Washington, DC.

“Our pilot study shows that using game-based learning is an effective, cost-efficient way to teach refugee children important skills and this structured environment provided distressed refugee children an outlet to imagine a better future for themselves,” explained Sinem Vatanartiran, president of BAU International University. (IANS)

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Rising Awareness Among Indians Towards Mental Health

The healthcare map, which highlights key consumer healthcare trends, concerns and behaviour, has been compiled from thousands of searches and appointments, by over 13 crore patients, across more than 50 cities and over 250 specialties, in 2018.

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A World Health Organisation (WHO) report states that 7.5 per cent of the Indian population suffers from some form of mental concern or disorder. Pixabay

While mental health has often remained a widely ignored topic and a taboo in the Indian society, a new report shows over 80 per cent rise in the number of people seeking help for mental health issues, especially in tier-2 cities.

According to domestic digital healthcare platform Practo’s annual healthcare map, there has been 82 per cent increase in the appointments with psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists in tier-2 cities — Indore, Kanpur, Nagpur, Jaipur, Vishakapatnam, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Coimbatore, Ahmedabad and Patna.

People in these cities sought help mostly for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), marriage counselling, stress, de-addiction and anger management among others.

mental health
“This indicates that unhealthy lifestyle habits, long working hours and work-life imbalance are taking a toll on people and their mental health,” the Practo report said.
Pixabay

“It is a common belief that mental issues are mainly arising in metro cities owing to the stressful lifestyles. However, the non-metro cities are also in immediate need for access to mental healthcare,” Aparna Mahesh, psychotherapist at Practo, told IANS.

“The sharp increase in the number of physical appointments with psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists in these towns and cities clearly indicates that Indians beyond metros are seeking timely help to address their concerns rather than ignoring or self-medicating,” Mahesh added.

In tier-1 cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad — a 24 per cent increase was seen in the appointments with psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) report states that 7.5 per cent of the Indian population suffers from some form of mental concern or disorder.

 

mental health
“It is a common belief that mental issues are mainly arising in metro cities owing to the stressful lifestyles. However, the non-metro cities are also in immediate need for access to mental healthcare,” Aparna Mahesh, psychotherapist at Practo, told IANS.
Pixabay

“This indicates that unhealthy lifestyle habits, long working hours and work-life imbalance are taking a toll on people and their mental health,” the Practo report said.

Further, it was found that Indians visited their doctors 3.2 times a year in 2018, up from 2.7 times in 2017. Gynaecology, dermatology and paediatrics emerged as top three specialties where most visits occurred.

Also Read: Indian Consumers Cautious of Data Misuse Through Technological Devices

This is, however, lower than Japan where patients visited doctors 13 times or the US where visits to doctors were a little over four times in 2018.

The healthcare map, which highlights key consumer healthcare trends, concerns and behaviour, has been compiled from thousands of searches and appointments, by over 13 crore patients, across more than 50 cities and over 250 specialties, in 2018. (IANS)