Psychiatry without borders

24 January 2007 | Story by Daniella Pollock
An Internet connection may soon be the next generation in mental health treatment. UCT's Brain-Behaviour Initiative (BBI) is currently focused on trauma. Members of the BBI and the Cross-University Brain-Behaviour Initiative (CUBBI) wondered whether the Internet could be used to help those who have suffered from trauma, but live in areas with few clinicians. Under the guidance of Prof Pim Cuijpers of the Free University in the Netherlands and Prof Isaac Marks of the University of London, Beauty Mlanjeni of UCT, Winnie de Roover of the Mental Health Information Centre at the University of Stellenbosch, and Mark Tomlinson of the MRC, began preliminary work on translating therapeutic materials for use on the Internet. This work has won the group an E-ward (an award for innovations in Internet-delivered mental health treatment) from the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos Institute) and the Dutch Mental Health Association (GGZ Nederland) last week. "The next step would be to apply for additional funding to set up infrastructure such as Internet connections," said Professor Dan Stein, head of the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health. "The funds from this award will go some way towards that."

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