Practice for Use Self Help for Depression (Push-D) is a computer based self-help application which works for individuals with low to mild intensity of depression. The application was developed by IIITB and Healthelife a startup at the Innovation Center of IIITB with the inputs provided by NIMHANS. The project was funded by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research)
Depression is a mental health disorder - a very common phenomenon among many young individuals today. The early stage of depression is more a mental health concern rather than a disorder. The Pilot phase was launched in the second half of 2016 to cater to 250 people. Push-D took a year to develop and the material / content for the application was provided by NIMHANS and spear headed by Dr. Seema Mehrotra, professor, Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS. The technology support was provided by young scholars headed by Professor T.K Srikanth, E Health Research Center at IIITB.
The program requires individuals to first go through an evaluation process with doctors and to be identified as low intensity depressed individuals. Then the program is designed for 6 – 8 weeks with various modules that the individual has to take 2 – 3 times a week. The application uses activities, audio visuals, statistics, info graphics and other materials. It is based on psychotherapeutic or psychological approaches and the techniques used, are based on the principals of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Supportive Therapy and Positive therapy. The exercises taken by the individuals are monitored by the doctors on a continuous basis and based on the performance in the exercises appropriate treatment is given. Push-D also helps to categorize the individuals based on the type of depression and the treatment can be decided based on that.
Push-D has two modules – essential module (which has 10 sections which opens sequentially) and an optional module (which can be accessed randomly). The users can do a self-schedule and can work from anywhere and need not come to the hospital / center. Access to a computer/Smart Phone with internet is a must for the application. The app version is compatible with Android devices.
Majority of the Indians suffer from depression but avoid seeking help due to various reasons such as social stigma, lack of awareness, lack of time or affordability, high patient – doctor ratio etc. Technology is a solution to that and Push-D a web based platform hopes to bridge the gap.