Wednesday November 22, 2017

Expansion of Online Psychiatric Resources can tackle “massive and growing” Mental Health Burden across the World

According to the specialists speaking at the European Congress on Psychiatry (ECP), the web is the only option for significant extra treatment capacity

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Facebook's User Operations Safety Team workers look at reviews at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, VOA

April 4, 2017: A “massive and growing” mental health burden across the world can only be tackled successfully with a major expansion of online psychiatric resources such as virtual clinics and web-based psychotherapies, specialists said on Tuesday.

With resources tight and the global mental health system only serving around 10 percent of patients even now, specialists speaking at the European Congress on Psychiatry (ECP) said the web is the only option for significant extra treatment capacity.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said last week mental disorders – in particular depression – are now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide.

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Rates of depression have risen by more than 18 percent since 2005, the WHO says, and a lack of support for mental health combined with a common fear of stigma means many do not get the treatment they need.

Michael Krausz, a professor of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia in Canada, and a leading specialist at the World Psychiatric Association, said “E-mental health” should be a major part of the answer.

“Through a proactive approach we can create an additional virtual system of care which could build capacity, improve the quality of care and make mental health care more effective,” he told the ECP.

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Web-based psychological treatments such as online cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) have proven effective in several conditions including depression and anxiety. Krausz said there is also potential for online CBT to be modified for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Online assessments, web-based psychotherapies,… and online research strategies will significantly change the field,” he told the congress.

Technologies like virtual reality and artificial intelligence can also be used in certain therapies for anxiety, and various online games and apps are being developed to support treatment of depression in children.

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In another example, scientists at King’s College London have developed an avatar-based system to help treat people with schizophrenia who hear distressing voices.
(VOA)

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Bisexuals are at Greatest Risk of Suffering from Mental Health Problems, Suggest Studies

Bisexuals- Sexual minority community, who are at the greatest risk of falling into depression

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Bisexuals
Bisexuals get subjected to more discrimination than other communities of the society. Pixabay.
  • Studies reveal that the social stigma of bisexuals have lead to cases of mental illness becoming prevalent among people of their community.
  • Their decision is questioned by both heterosexuals and homosexuals.

A recent study done by researchers of an American university has stated that the “B” (Bisexuals) in the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community are people, most prone to falling into depression or suffer from mental illness. The research published in Prevention Science is based on data collected from 503 participants aged 18 to 64, who identified themselves as bisexuals, people attracted to both men and women. They were questioned as to how their bisexuality affected their lives. And, many said that they were invalidated and often looked down upon.

Also Read:  5 Women Whose Caliber, Achievements Would Inspire You 

Various studies have proven that Bisexual people are more mentally affected than homosexuals or heterosexuals. They feel as if they do not have an identity or they believe in one society. The preconceived notion of bisexuals being a threat to the society and incapable of commitment affects them the most. They are called promiscuous, and their sexuality is considered illegitimate.

A qualitative study conducted with 55 bisexual people across Ontario revealed the typical stereotype- individuals who are confused and unsure of their desires. The participants of the study expressed the strange reactions coming from their families. They are being ignored and relegated by both heterosexuals and homosexuals. Their community needs a separate identity, and support like other communities do. Their needs and place in the society are not identified as much those of the Lesbian, Gay and Transgender community.

The stereotypes against them have made them socially isolated leading to severe mental illness.A Canadian study states that bisexual men and women are 6.3 times and 5.9 times respectively, are more likely to have suicidal tendencies than heterosexual people.  A Bisexuality report of 2012 suggests Bi people are more likely to suffer from depression as compared to homosexuals.

As individuals, it becomes our social responsibility to willfully respect the people who have identified themselves as being bisexuals or any characteristic different from ours. Stereotypical and hurtful comments can never be the mark of a progressive society. After all when we all were born with the same fundamental and human rights, where we have the right to choose.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. Twitter @ImMeghaacharya.


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Beware! Tobacco, Poor Diet, and Mental Disorders are Leading Causes of Poor Health and you may be at Risk too!

According to a new study, deaths from noncommunicable, or chronic, diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes have caused 72 percent of all deaths worldwide

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A heavyset man rests on a bench in Jackson, Miss. (VOA)

London, September 15, 2017 : Heart disease and tobacco ranked with conflict and violence among the world’s leading cause of poor health and the biggest killers in 2016, while poor diets and mental disorders caused people the greatest poor health, a large international study has found.

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, published in The Lancet medical journal, found that while life expectancy is increasing, so too are the years people live in poor health. The proportion of life spent being ill is higher in poor countries than in wealthy ones.

ALSO READ World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates suggest 300 Million people suffer from Depression

“Death is a powerful motivator, both for individuals and for countries, to address diseases that have been killing us at high rates. But we’ve been much less motivated to address issues leading to illnesses,” said Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, which led the study.

He said a “triad of troubles” — obesity, conflict and mental illness — is emerging as a “stubborn and persistent barrier to active and vigorous lifestyles.”

Diet critical

The IHME-led study, involving more than 2,500 researchers in about 130 countries, found that in 2016, poor diet was associated with nearly one in five deaths worldwide. Tobacco smoking killed 7.1 million people.

ALSO READ Ban on E-Cigarettes May Increase the Risk on the Public Health in India, Warn Experts

Diets low in whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, fish oils and high in salt were the most common risk factors, contributing to cases of obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol.

The study found that deaths from firearms, conflict and terrorism have increased globally, and that noncommunicable, or chronic, diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes caused 72 percent of all deaths worldwide.

Heart disease was the leading cause of premature death in most regions and killed 9.48 million people globally in 2016.

ALSO READ Eat According to Your Blood Type and See the Benefits Yourself!

Mental illness was found to take a heavy toll on individuals and societies, with 1.1 billion people living with psychological or psychiatric disorders and substance abuse problems in 2016.

Major depressive disorders ranked in the top 10 causes of ill health in all but four countries worldwide.

The GBD is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation global health charity and gives data estimates on 330 diseases, causes of death and injuries in 195 countries and territories. (VOA)

 

 

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Integrate National Plans to Eliminate TB by 2030: WHO

The WHO South East Asia Region includes India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste

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India TB Outreach Work
A TB patient hopeful of being cured in India. Wikimedia

New Delhi, Sep 11, 2017: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has told the South East Asian countries to integrate their national plans and mobilise and utilise resources efficiently to reach the Tuberculosis elimination target of 2030, a statement said on Sunday.

The WHO South East Asia Region includes India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Also Read: Malnutrition makes children susceptible to Tuberculosis: Experts 

The global health body said that there is a need for countries to identify the package of interventions best suited to their challenges — whether that means focusing on strengthening TB services, accelerating case detection or investing in research and development.

“All countries face unique challenges, meaning they should each adapt the regional and global strategies to their context,” said a statement issued by the WHO’s South East Asia Region Office.

“We must avoid taking one-size-fits-all approach, and must instead seek out and embrace tailored solutions that meet specific needs and challenges.”

The five-day 70th Regional Committee Session of WHO South East Asia Region concluded in Male on Sunday.

According to the global health body, by planning effectively and making smart, high-impact interventions, countries across the Southeast Asia Region can lift TB’s significant burden and end the disease as a public health threat once and for all.

Although the region accounts for approximately one quarter of the world’s population, it has nearly half the number of new TB cases and close to 40 per cent of TB deaths globally.

In recognition of TB’s outsized burden, accelerating progress towards the 2030 target — which requires a 90 per cent reduction in TB deaths and 80 per cent decrease in TB incidence — is now one of WHO South-East Asia Region’s flagship priority areas of work. (IANS)