Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Space Age depression treatment

Scientists at the National Space Biomedical Research Institute are developing a software programme that can provide self-guided treatment for depression. The programme is aimed at astronauts on long missions where isolation and close confinement with a limited group of people can lead to mental-health problems. The programme's multi-media approach includes graphics and a video featuring a psychologist who leads the user through a straightforward process called Problem-Solving Treatment which develops problem-solving skills, helps users plan and schedule enjoyable activities and provides preventative and educational information on depression. The system has been tried, with very positive feedback, on bases in the Antarctic and it is hoped that it can be rolled out to people in rural areas or other isolated settings such as commercial ships and oil rigs.

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