A partnership to increase the availability of psychological services in the Philippines to better support Filipinos who are suffering from mental illness.
There is a critical shortage of mental health services in the Philippines, which the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is on average one qualified psychologist per 80,000 people in the Philippines. There is also only a single national suicide hotline run by the Mental Health Commission – which has seen a 1014% surge in suicide related calls from Q1 2020, to Q1 2021.
The number of Filipinos living with depression, anxiety, and related stress disorders has grown from 6.6 million to 15.4 million. With an average monthly salary of AUD 454, most Filipinos cannot afford the expensive cost of psychology appointments, which cost $75 for a single appointment. Instead, those with mental health conditions are further isolated with no alternate support.
About the initiative
The initiative aims to increase the availability of psychological services in the Philippines to better support Filipinos who are suffering from mental illness. Through the BPP partnership Mind You Mental Health (Mind You) will expand its current Business to Business (B2B) model to develop a Business to Consumer (B2C) telehealth mobile-based application to provide broaden access to psychologists for more Filipinos.
The partnership will provide affordable mental health services across several income groups, using a cross-subsidy model that enables free or subsidised services for low and middle-income working adults and women and economically vulnerable members of the LGBTQI community. The platform works in conjunction with provisional psychologists by supporting them to complete their required hours to reach qualification.
Mind You will provide the technology and established reputation for providing quality counselling services to expand access to people in need of mental health services. Mind You will also develop education and awareness campaigns to reduce the stigma of mental health and launch a graduate internship program to increase the number of licenced psychologists in the country. The Australian Government will provide technical advice on gender equality and social inclusion, catalytic funding and help adapt Mind You’s core B2B service to reach new customer segments to create a wider impact.
Mind You Mental Health shares strategies and tips for improving mental health through social media
Specialised and gender-sensitive care
The initiative aims to champion equality by providing specialised care that is responsive to different gender needs, which can be accessed without the need to travel. While men and women in the Philippines both experience mental health issues, their concerns and problems differ. A current lack of specialised care can further alienate women and prevents them from accessing vital healthcare services. To address this, the partnership seeks to promote women’s health by:
- Subsidised Services – disadvantaged women and LGBTQI+ individuals will receive subsidised cost sessions with experienced psychologists.
- Procurement practices – the partnership seeks to employ a majority of women and LGBTQI members as Subject Matter Experts to support the platform.
- Training – the partnership will provide specialised training on how to best support women and members of marginalised communities.
Hear from Mind You Mental Health
“Great things can only be achieved by groups of ordinary people, doing extraordinary things. The support from the Australian Government will contribute significantly to the level of impact Mind You will achieve now, and into the future. The partnership will increase our speed to market, our technological and education capabilities and help us support millions of Filipinos with their mental health in the wider communities for years to come.” Cameron Quin, VP & COO Mind You
This partnership was selected through the BPP’s 2020 Call for Partnerships to support COVID-19 recovery across the Asia-Pacific.