UJ, Gauteng government to use AI to deliver mental health services to youth
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JOHANNESBURG- The University of Johannesburg said it would on Friday introduce a web-based child and youth mental health profiling system using rapid real time 4IR technologies, to be rolled out in all Gauteng province schools.
The project, led by the university's Professor Jace Pillay, will be conducted in conjuction with the Gauteng premier's office.
About 10-20 percent of children and youth worldwide experience mental disorders, but it is often difficult to determine the causes.
UJ said research showed that several barriers, such as a diminished civil society support, a lack of global consensus on mental illness and its treatment, missed policy opportunities and limited evidence on the delivery of mental health interventions were blocking improving mental health.
Neuropsychiatric conditions were often the leading cause of disability in young people in all regions, and if untreated severely affected children’s development, their educational attainments and their potential to live fulfilling and productive lives, it said.
The new system, aligned to the 4th industrial revolution (4IR) has the capability to test from both the online and offline environments, enabling researchers and data consumers to commission or receive research evidence or draw data at the click of a button.
"The need for such a research project is clearly evident in the escalating school, gender and community based violence prevalent in our country – much of which are linked to mental health challenges,” Pillay said.
He said the use of technologies played a major role in the delivery of mental health services and supports to children and youth in providing prevention, assessment, diagnosis, counseling and treatment programs.