Mental health care takes precedence over decentralization, say academics


Decentralized mental health care could be the answer to the looming shortage of mental health professionals, according to professors at John Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Speaking to TBEN, Dr. Johannes Thrul of the John Hopkins School of Mental Health that the mental health industry could take a page from decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) by providing support services in a decentralized system.

dr. Thrul wrote a July 22 academic paper on “Web3 and Digital Mental Health,” envisioning a decentralized peer support system that relies on “individuals with experience” to provide help “based on their expertise in managing their health.” own circumstances.”

dr. Thrul said the system would work by using a “community linked crypto token” that would be rewarded to those who “make a positive contribution to the community”, such as helping someone overcome a mental health problem in a community. environment with peer support.

He said the system would not be bound by ‘border restrictions’, noting how quickly governments were adapting to the delivery of remote health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, although he admitted it could not replace the mainstream medical system alone. . Instead, it could be used as an adjunct to seeing a traditional psychologist.

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Another professor who contributed to the academic article, Dr. Luke Kalb, said a decentralized peer support system will provide greater flexibility and freedom in how we approach mental health issues, stating:

“[The] community can come up with their own creative ways to tackle problems […] this system of peer support offers so many opportunities for creativity.”

The professors noted that such a system could become essential in the future, given the likelihood of a shortage of traditional mental health services in the future, as “61% of practicing psychiatrists in the US are nearing retirement.”

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The paper also cited research from the Department of Health and Human Services that “predicts a prolonged national staff shortage among all mental health professionals by 2025.”

Although the professors have just started the early research phases, they hope to start building the necessary professional relationships to see this happen. dr. Thrul said: “It’s hard to find the right technical collaboration with the same shared vision […] but we want to get this out and as a call to read, collect and reach out. ”

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