1Prof. Dr. Muhamamd Iqbal Afridi

1Jinnah Sindh Medical University, Karachi

Background:

The increasing need of mental health services and inadequate resources in terms of personnel and finance is a huge challenge. The situation is further complicated due to the security and law and order situations in different regions globally and especially in low and middle income countries. In these countries, the mental health services are far from the reach of majority of the population due to less number of the trained personnel, lack of proper health insurance services, besides other socioeconomic factors including security, safety and the cumbersome traveling arrangements.  In order to overcome these issues, the modern world has started utilizing the advances in science and technology. Telemedicine/Tele-psychiatry and  tele-mental health are important concepts that have made it possible to achieve the goal of providing health care to distant and underprivileged areas and also in sharing of knowledge amongst mental health professionals across the world.

Material(s) and Method(s):

The user should have access to a computer with internet, a webcam, and Skype account, which is freely available. Cell/mobile/tablet/notebook/laptop/desk top/Android etc. can be used according to feasibility. Mental health services including promotive, preventive, screening, treatment and rehabilitation to millions of Pakistanis and others Asians globally (Afghanistan, UAE, Qatar, London, Dubai, New York etc.) can be achieved using this cost-effective, environmentally, culturally and linguistic friendly technology. Webinars can be used to bring developed and underdeveloped countries together.

Result(s):

This paper will focus on the application of tele-mental health in developing countries keeping in mind the socio demographic variables such as gender, education, socio-cultural aspects besides pointing out its legal and ethical implications

Conclusion(s):

This will provide an opportunity to integrate the wisdom and experience of seniors and the dynamic and mechatronic capabilities of juniors for promotion of mental health. The latest techniques/ skills are more acceptable to youngsters, yet it is very cost-effective in the treatment and rehabilitation of mental illnesses. This will also help to develop a liaison and reduce the gap of services, globally.