Skip to 0 minutes and 13 secondsARLINDA CERGA-PASHOJA There is a huge treatment gap regarding interventions for mental health conditions in humanitarian settings. It is well known that up to 85% of people suffering from mental health problems in low- and middle-income countries do not receive treatment for these conditions. This figure is even higher in humanitarian settings, which means that almost everyone who is suffering from mental health problems is suffering in silence.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 secondsThe lack of resources, combined with stigma associated with seeking help for mental health problems in these settings, means that most of the people will not seek treatment or will not receive any treatment. So e-interventions have the potential to address some of the drawbacks of standard care, such as accessibility and affordability, while maintaining high quality of treatment for people in humanitarian crisis. E-health interventions, where E stands for Electronic, are interventions that are supported by information and communication technologies to provide support either as a standalone or as a support to therapists' face-to-face interventions for mental health. They are delivered by the support of technology, by support of computers, the internet, and mobile applications.

Skip to 1 minute and 55 secondsAn example of e-interventions that we're currently using, it's made of three platforms, two computer platforms that are used by a therapist. We have a platform that's being used by a client or a person who is seeking therapy. And there is a mobile application that's supporting the therapy as well. Both platforms for the therapist and the patient are connected so that the therapist can oversee the activities and the progress that the client is doing in therapy. Clients, on the other hand, are working with a lot of psychoeducational work and they're carrying out a few cognitive-behavioral-based treatments for depression.

Skip to 3 minutes and 6 secondsThis platform, we're thinking to adopt it for a refugee population. And we're currently working with camps in Greece to establish the needs, the psychological needs for the refugee populations residing in the camps. We are trying to make the platform culturally sensitive. And for that reason, we're including our colleagues from the Syrian Psychological Association, who will be giving input in the content of the platforms and the information that will be given. Of course, the content will be quite different to what we are using now.

Skip to 4 minutes and 11 secondsBut the idea of having a platform where a therapist doesn't have to be present or local in the area, but can actually support treatment from distance remotely, that's seen as something that could aid the services and the NGOs that are on the ground. Also, another addition that we're thinking about to the current platform is for therapists to provide from outside Greece, from abroad, to provide support and consultation and supervision to mental health workers in the ground, again to build capacity, and to make sure that more people are reached and are more independent in using this platform to improve their mental health.

Technology for the individual

What technologies exist to support health interventions for individual users?

In this step Dr. Arlinda Cerga-Pashoja discusses the use of e-Health tools to improve the mental health of refugees and IDPs affected by humanitarian crises.

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This video is from the free online course:

Health in Humanitarian Crises

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine