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Global mental healthcare meets the digital revolution

…When com­mit­ting to the Unit­ed Nations’ Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals in 2015, world lead­ers empha­sized the impor­tance of pro­mot­ing men­tal health and well-being world­wide. Yet three years lat­er, the sit­u­a­tion remains grim. Every year, 800,000 lives are lost due to sui­cide. In the Unit­ed States alone, one in five peo­ple is liv­ing with a men­tal ill­ness, and 60% of them receive no treat­ment. The sit­u­a­tion is far worse in many low- and mid­dle-income coun­tries …

Inter­na­tion­al orga­ni­za­tions are redou­bling their efforts on this issue. For­ward-think­ing mem­bers of the World Eco­nom­ic Forum’s Glob­al Future Coun­cil on Neu­rotech­nolo­gies recent­ly con­vened to explore the many ways that rapid advances in telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, big data ana­lyt­ics (includ­ing machine learn­ing), mobile tech­nolo­gies and biosen­sors — loose­ly grouped togeth­er under the umbrel­la term “dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies” — are poised to have a pro­found impact on diverse aspects of men­tal health­care and treat­ment …

Human­i­tar­i­an, social and eco­nom­ic imper­a­tives demand action from glob­al lead­ers on men­tal health. Indi­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies are suf­fer­ing. Eco­nom­ic costs are soar­ing. Lives are being lost. Nev­er­the­less, the Coun­cil sees a promis­ing path for­ward, dri­ven by the grow­ing abil­i­ty to har­ness these ubiq­ui­tous tech­nolo­gies and apply them in an eth­i­cal man­ner to improve men­tal health out­comes world­wide.

–> Read full arti­cle The pow­er of dig­i­tal tools to trans­form men­tal health­care over at the World Eco­nom­ic Forum blog.

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