University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Title: Development of a web-based child mental health profiler system in South Africa: Global implications
Jace Pillay completed his doctorate in 1996 at the Rand Afrikaans University in South Africa. He is the South African Research Chair in Education and Care in Childhood focusing on the mental health of orphans and vulnerable children. He has published numerous papers in reputed journals and has presented his research at numerous international conferences.
Child mental health conditions, disorders and diseases are rarely on the frontline of health regulations and local health agendas. WHO estimates that worldwide, about 10-20% of children and adolescents experience mental health difficulties. Neuropsychiatric conditions are the leading cause of disability in young people in all countries. If untreated, these conditions severely influence children’s development, their educational attainments and their potential to live fulfilling and productive lives. Children with mental problems face major challenges with stigma, isolation, and discrimination, as well as the lack of access to healthcare and education facilities, in violation of their fundamental human rights. It is against this background that the critical need to obtain valid, reliable and efficient information around child mental health that the idea of a child mental health profiler was conceptualised. The objective of the system is to support an approach in understanding and meeting needs of mental health care of children. Central to the key features of the system is addressing the need for a Rapid Analysis Web-Based Child Mental Health Profiler which we are developing to use in South Africa. The system has the capability to test from both the online and offline environments enabling researchers and all stakeholders or data consumers to commission and/or receive research evidence or draw data at a click of a button, for example on child depression, anxiety, stress, suicidal tendencies, etc. Immediate support and care could be provided for children through the network of supporting organisations on the data base. At the conference I will share the conceptualisation and mechanics of this child mental health profiler system highlighting the benefits of this system to a global audience in supporting child mental health initiatives.