App for mental health

Professor Vimla Patel (left) who is Professor and Senior Research Scientist and Centre Director at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York shows the Mobile App to the assistant minister for Health Alex O'Connor as Sriram Iyengar who is Associate Professor at the Texas A& M University Health Science Centre looks on during the presentation at Hoodless House. Picture: RAMA

SMARTPHONES can become one of the leading tools to prevent worse scenarios of mental illnesses, says Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Alex O’Connor.

His comments come after he was introduced to the suicide risk and depression assessment app by Texas A&M Clinical Science and Translational Research Institute Associate Professor Sriram Iyengar in Suva on Wednesday.

The app will be used by community health nurses to collect data on depression and suicide risks among people.

It will also detect and accurately diagnose depression and suicide risks.

“For me this app is going to be a good one for the ministry and Government has installed apps in a whole sort of things, for the ministry this is a plus not only for mental health but for community health workers as well,” Mr O’Connor added.

He said it would also help the ministry’s data collection and was a vital tool for studying Fiji’s mental health including diabetes and NCDs.

“They have another 12 months to roll out this new app and from their stakeholders to seek Government’s approval if this app can be taken on board.

“It’s a great asset, with smartphones people can work anywhere in the country and download the information to their computers and upscale them at the centres,” Mr O’Connor said.

More Stories