Giving Compass' Take:

• Here are five tech tools and online wellness platforms that make mental health care easily accessible for middle to low-income countries. 

• These apps and platforms are resourceful solutions for the time being. However, long-term, sustainable, and accessible mental health care support still needs to be available to these countries. How can donors take necessary steps in that direction? 

• Learn why the next challenge after COVID-19 will be mental health. 

Developed countries have made some progress in addressing mental health in the past few years, but access to care and resources remains highly unequal around the world.

In 2015, mental health care was 50 times more accessible in wealthy countries, the Guardian reported.

And, according to a more recent study carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO), the rate of mental health workers in low-income countries can be as low as 2 per 100 000 people — despite the fact that 1 in 10 people is estimated to need mental health care.

While scaling up resources will be necessary to help address these worrying trends, digital technology and mobile health apps seem to offer a promising alternative in the meantime. In low- and middle-income countries, they can prove particularly useful in identifying health providers, as well as improving screening capabilities and overall access to care.

Here are five digital tools that are helping the world’s most vulnerable people get the mental health care they need.

  1. TrustCircle Launched by the Psychiatric Disability Organization (PDO) in collaboration with app developers in the United States, TrustCircle addresses barriers to mental health care by helping people get access to psychiatric services no matter where they are in Kenya.
  2. MEGA The Erasmus MEGA project is an European Union-funded initiative designed to promote children’s mental health as part of the WHO’s Mental Health Gap Action Programme.
  3. YourDost YourDost is an online platform that provides counselling and helps foster emotional wellness in India.
  4. Mind IT In response to growing concerns around suicide rates in Ghana, Mind IT was created to address mental health issues among the Ghanian population.
  5. Snapchat’s Here For You Feature Although not technically a mental health app in itself, Snapchat recently rolled out a new built-in feature to help young people in India identify mental health resources and support one another amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full article about tech tools for mental health by Sarah El Gharib at Global Citizen.