This week’s DMCBH COVID-19 Series features a new project by UBC Psychiatry members Dr. Raymond Lam, Dr. Jill Murphy and Dr. Erin Michalak, who received a CIHR grant to first assess the mental health needs of high-risk groups in the context of COVID-19, then determine how to provide digital mental health care to these groups.
Drs. Lam, Murphy and Michalak are members of the Executive of the Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) Hub for Digital Mental Health, which is made up of 21 countries around the world. In the early days of the pandemic, it was noted by APEC members that despite existing mental health initiatives in many countries, there were still significant gaps when it came to providing care to certain at-risk groups.
The first step of the project will be to determine the mental health needs of these at-risk groups across Canada, Chile, China, Australia, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, the USA and Vietnam. Data collected will be sent to APEC members across all 21 countries for review and input. The next step will focus on developing recommendations on how to deliver mental health services via digital technology based on the needs of the identified at-risk groups.
The team is hopeful that in the future, these recommendations will be implemented in communities around the world.