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Internet Interv ; 29: 100544, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1864187


Background: Bangladesh is a lower-middle-income country affected by a severe lack of mental health service availability due to a scarcity of mental health experts, limited mental health literacy, and community stigma. In other low and middle-income countries, the online provision of mental health care services has addressed issues affecting service availability, accessibility, mass awareness of services, and stigma. Objective: The current study sought to understand stakeholders' perceptions of the potential of digital media-based mental health care delivery in strengthening Bangladesh's mental health system. Method: Online in-depth interviews were conducted with seven psychiatrists and eleven people with lived experiences of mental health issues. In addition, two online focus groups were conducted with ten psychologists and nine mental health entrepreneurs. A thematic analysis of the audio transcriptions was used to identify themes. Result: Stakeholders perceived that the benefits of digital media-based mental health services included the potential of increasing the awareness, availability, and accessibility of mental health services. Participants recommended: the rehabilitation of existing pathways; the use of social media to raise awareness; and the implementation of strategies that integrate different digital-based services to strengthen the mental health system and foster positive mental health-seeking behaviors. Conclusion: Growing mental health awareness, combined with the appropriate use of digital media as a platform for distributing information and offering mental services, can help to promote mental health care. To strengthen mental health services in Bangladesh, tailored services, increased network coverage, and training are required on digital mental health.

Int J Equity Health ; 20(1): 166, 2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496176


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered the ways in which disabled people are made more vulnerable due to structural inequalities. These vulnerabilities are the result of the interaction between individual and structural factors that shape how risk is experienced by disabled people. In Australia, these vulnerabilities are influenced by the way disability services and care for disabled people are delivered through a consumer-directed approach. We analysed the policies and documentation made by the Australian Government and state and territory governments during the pandemic to explore whether these were disability-inclusive. We aimed to unpack how these policies shaped disabled people as vulnerable citizens. METHODS: Guided by documentary research, we used framework analysis to examine the policies of the Australian Government and state and territory governments. We analysed legislation that was given royal assent by the federal, state and territory governments, and documents (reports, fact sheets, guidance documents, etc.) published by the federal government and the state of Victoria (given that this state experienced the brunt of the epidemic in Australia) between February 2020 to August of 2020. RESULTS: We found that most of the resources were not aimed at disabled people, but at carers and workers within disability services. In addition, most policies formulated by the Australian Government were related to the expansion of welfare services and the creation of economic stimulus schemes. However, while the stimulus included unemployed people, the expansion of benefits explicitly excluded disabled people who were not employed. Most of the legislation and documents offered accessibility options, though most of these options were only available in English. Disability oriented agencies offered more extensive accessibility options. CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicate a large number of documents addressing the needs of disabled people. However, disability-inclusiveness appeared to be inconsistent and not fully considered, leaving disabled people exposed to greater risk of COVID-19. Neoliberal policies in the health and welfare sector in Australia have led to an individualisation of the responsibility to remain healthy and a reliance on people as independent consumers. Governments need to take a clear stance towards the emergence of such a discourse that actively disvalues disabled people.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Disabled Persons , Government , Pandemics , Policy , Australia/epidemiology , Guidelines as Topic , Humans , Risk Assessment , Vulnerable Populations