09/06/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/06/2021 05:56
In 2011, the European Union commissioned the Impact Consortium to write a report in regards to 'The long-term mental health care for people with severe mental disorders.'
This blog post explores the principal issues involved in the long-term care of individuals suffering from severe mental systems mentioned in the report, and how some of these issues can be partially solved with the use of mobile health technology.
The long-term care of people suffering from severe mental disorders is one of the most significant challenges for the health care systems since the impact they have on individuals, families and societies is huge.
According to the report, schizophrenia has an estimated point prevalence of 0.4% and a lifetime risk of 1%, which means that 1 in every 100 people will suffer from schizophrenia during their lifetime. It is the 7th most important illness in terms of years lived with disability, accounting for 2.8% of disability caused by all illnesses. For people aged 15 to 44 years, it is the 3rd most important disease, accounting for 4.9% of disability resulting from all illnesses.
During the last few decades, the European Union has made a huge effort to overcome these barriers and to ensure high-quality longer-term care for people with severe mental disorders. These efforts started in the 60's with the development of new pharmacological treatments for psychoses, which radically changed the prognosis of severe mental illness. In the 70's and the 80's, there was an emergence of new psychosocial interventions and new concepts of mental health care organisations .
Nowadays, there is a need to shift the health care model. The transition from traditional large psychiatric institutions to modern comprehensive community-based models of care, including acute patient units at general hospitals .
According to the report, this shift is necessary due to the following reasons:
However, European healthcare systems need to make lots of alterations if they want to provide accessible, effective, high-quality and long-term care to people suffering from severe mental disorders.
Challenges of the transition to new comprehensive community-based models of care
One of the main reasons why the development of long-term mental health services is insufficient is due to the lack of coordination between the different health services. A close coordination, and even joint funding and management of health and social care services is fundamental to cope with the new challenges European mental health systems are now facing. .
According to the report, these are the key principles to organise mental health services:
The Monsenso mobile health solution can facilitate five of the six points mentioned in the report to organise mental health services in an optimal way.
 The long-term mental health care for people with severe mental disorders. J.M Caldas de Almeida, H. Killaspy. Prepared under service contract with the Impact Consortium by the European Commission. 2011.
 Increasing access to behavioural health care through technology. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (2013, February).
 Directors Blog: SAMHSA and NIMH partner to support early intervention for serious mental illness.P. Hyde and T. Insel. National Institute of Mental Health Blog (2014, June 17)
 Evidence based treatment for first episode of psychosis: Components of coordinated specialty care. PHD R. K. Heinssen. RAISE NIMH (2014, April 14).