Psychiatric patients not patronized but really helped via Internet

Tromsø 05 May 1998 In Norway, a psychiatric rehabilitation service is being set up on the Internet to offer patients a chance to actively participate in their recovery process. Various hospitals and mental health facilities are ready to collaborate with the Telemedical Competence Centre in Tromsø in order to create an interactive platform for people suffering from psychiatric illnesses. This has been reported by Internettavisa Telecom.

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In Norway, a psychiatric rehabilitation service is being set up on the Internet to offer patients a chance to actively participate in their recovery process. Various hospitals and mental health facilities are ready to collaborate with the Telemedical Competence Centre in Tromsø in order to create an interactive platform for people suffering from psychiatric illnesses. This has been reported by Internettavisa Telecom.

Head of the project is Deede Gammon, a Norwegian researcher and psychologist. His main goal to organize this new Web site is to allow patients, sharing the same mental symptoms, to meet and discuss with each other. The great advantage for people living in small villages and participating in the Internet project, consists in the fact that they can stay anonymous if they want.

There are some examples of similar initiatives abroad which have turned out to be very successful. The service runs 24 hours a day so that people in need can get help at any time they experience fear or panic. Patients do not only communicate with each other but also with qualified experts in a very comfortable and democratic way. Doctors rather play a mediating role on the Internet instead of acting like an authority, Dr. Gammon states.

At this moment, five Norwegian clinics have been interlinked by means of videoconferencing tools. They consider the Internet as a useful medium for planning and consultation between emergency facilities and psychiatric hospitals. The project equally includes the testing of mobile telephony to serve patients who still require regular assistance and help after they are dismissed from the mental health facility.


Leslie Versweyveld

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