IIT-K develops online tool to help people deal with mental health issues

People suffering from depressive symptoms such as feeling low and lack of pleasure in usual activities may find the contents of the site helpful, he said.

PTI
Kanpur, Publish Date: Jul 23 2018 1:11AM | Updated Date: Jul 23 2018 1:11AM
IIT-K develops online tool to help people deal with mental health issuesRepresentational Pic

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, has developed an online tool, TreadWill, to help people cope with issues related to their mental health.

Tread Will is a website designed to help people deal with stress, low mood, lethargy and other depressive symptoms through different online exercises, questionnaires and games, Nitin Gupta, a professor at the Biological Sciences and Bioengineering department of the IIT, said.

People suffering from depressive symptoms such as feeling low and lack of pleasure in usual activities may find the contents of the site helpful, he said. 

It will help in overcoming depressive symptoms and becoming more resilient against stressful events in the future, Gupta said.

The online tool has been developed by a team with collaborative support from the Computer Science and Engineering  and HSS (Psychology) departments, and Dr Alok Bajpai, a psychiatrist, the professor said. 

Based on the proven methodology of CBT, TreadWill uses simple language to help users to identify involuntary negative thoughts and behaviour, Gupta said, adding that users are subsequently taught techniques to work on modifying their thoughts and actions.

He said that he has been studying anxiety, stress, and depression for many years and the most common problem that people face is wrestling with their thoughts while lying on the bed, and they desperately want their minds to calm down so that they can sleep. 

But, whatever they try seems to fail, Gupta said, adding that people tell themselves not to worry, but they discover countless new things to worry about.

This work has discovered the secret to tackle anxiety, stress, exhaustion and full-blown depression successfully, he asserted.

Through simple questionnaires, the online tool can recognise differences in each users' history and customise accordingly, Gupta said. 

TreadWill would further help its users by sending personalised SMS alerts to help them stick to the programme till the end.

Gupta said that if the user chooses to participate, they would have to go through six modules over a period of about six weeks. These modules will teach different skills of CBT, he said.

The users would be able to complete these modules at their convenience by sitting at their respective places, Gupta asserted. 

The users mood would be assessed at different stages to analyze usefulness of the programme, he said. 

He further added that the research team would send an email to the users just 90 days after completing the program to check the long-term effectiveness of the online programme.

Gupta also said that if TreadWill does not benefit users directly, the participation will help the team improve the program so that the website becomes more useful to people and society. 

 

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