Global Health Blogs with Professor Swahn

Student Reflections on Topics Covered in our Class

Global Health Blogs with Professor Swahn

Mental Health Resources in Low Income Countries: Is Technology a Solution?

October 26, 2020 · No Comments · Mental Health, Uncategorized

How to scale up  access to Mental health Care in low-resource settings? May technology be a solution?

Since the beginning of time Modern society as a whole has played with ways to handle themselves; their emotions; and  this  thoughts. This evolved from  social gatherings to address mental health issues; such as “Visiting The Village- Idiot”  . A term ; coined offensive , but endearing! The whole village offering help and support to the one whom was lacking certain social, or cognitive skills. 


Now, we have looked to culture “To know how to”; but culture changes! We have looked locally to deal with things globally. Sometimes what works in one pond may not work in another; there are differences. 



So how can a low -resource culture  deal with Our mental health care and  access ? 

I offer, bringing technology in a low -resource setting will help people think more; thinking excessively has been shown to cause migraines, headaches and simply show us that there is no butter in our glue. What is butter? Butter is the feelings our thoughts provoke. Glue is the thoughts which hold them together.  We try to work: work hard ; but we suffer tremendously;  without feelings; this creates more Mental traffic.


“All over the world  any population you can think of  has access to digital technology or is gaining access to it. This is true in some of the most traditionally underserved and vulnerable populations. This is true in many low/middle income countries, and the statistics are very compelling that mobile technology is becoming ubiquitous”


They are gaining access to Telehealth; a digital technology through phone and internet services supporting psychiatrists in reaching out to patients; cables works hard; they connect us ; but a lot of people of mental health are sensitive ; many of them can’t be on computers ; iPads; or any sort of technological device for long ;  these  things increase synaptic disturbances; here’s an example!


“An AMA study in 2012 showed that our round-the-clock exposure to artificial light—even low-level light from computer and TV screens—can throw off our circadian rhythms, with negative effects from depression and mood disorders to increased light risk from cancer.”


In low income countries people are largely sensitive;  more immersion with low static low light exposure from screens can affect their cognitive abilities ; such as thinking ; and mood changes. So I ask; how can we fix a broken tool by giving another ? 

This will only develop more problems!


We can however involve “ Professional Services” in drawing resources to help poorer countries but we have to be specific on the approach. 


In the world we live in; we are struggling with technological endearment .  Our eyes and our hearts know google; and Wikipedia as our truths; it’s scary; we gladly love the ipads; but not the people who give them to us; And the sensations it creates! It can be cruel; but Technology makes us feel good;  you know? However every sword has a blade; What sets us back; the repercussions of bathing in the benefits oh human Innovation!


To develop ; We have to look for other eyes for help, but virtual engagements;  and meeting physicians through telehealth; and online chat boxes can’t pick up on the secret; {the positioning of body language; the emotional connection, the feelings in the air; and the General vibe;} anything you can experience in a face to face interaction with a patient; cant be felt through a TV or computer screen!


According to the article below  having face-face interactions versus computerized care can help develop crucial skills in emotional recognition; which is an important part of healing the Mind 


“Too much time interacting with technology and too little time interacting with humans in the same room can lead to some serious emotional difficulties.”


Human bodies are carefully tailored; we have tiny senses on our follicles ; and hairs ; that feel and reciprocate the love in a room , the feelings; and it’s even in the air. The over or under stimulation of these nerves are what I personally believe help in creating a loving experience for us to gain even more access into the depth of emotional and mental healing .


“In a recent book, Professor Larry Rosen of California State University, Dominguez Hills posits that many people today could be diagnosed with what he calls an iDisorder. Rosen summarizes the disorder this way in an article: “An iDisorder is where you exhibit signs and symptoms of a psychiatric disorder such as OCD, narcissism, addiction or even ADHD, which are manifested through your use—or overuse—of technology.”


The west suffers from these issues tremendously! We shouldn’t bring our ffathers mistakes to another Generation. 




Finally. At the highest end, 20 out of 100,000 deaths in South Korea in 2017 were from suicide; Only 5 were from Jamaica.Furthermore the graph below shows the Suicide rates compared between (1990- 2017).




I ask now, What’s changed between 1990-2017? Our mental health as a generation; or the physical world surrounding us? One can argue the birth of the Internet and it’s climax had caused the difference in the  surge of sucide rates cross culturally between these two periods of time. 


So should we increase access to mental health care into low-resource settings? Absolutely ! However; we should not use more technology. NEVER THAT!



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