Kuwait OFWs receive telepsychiatric care through PCHRD-supported project

Five to ten overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Kuwait receive telepsychiatry services each day through a project implemented by the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), with support from the Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD).  

Led by Mr. Gregorio Candelario, Jr. of the SPMC, the project entitled, “Acceptability of Telepsychiatry among Overseas Filipino Workers in Kuwait,” aims to provide mental health services to OFWs in Kuwait through the development and evaluation of an overseas telepsychiatry program. It builds from another DOST-PCHRD-funded project in 2019 establishing a telepsychiatry software program in Cagayan de Oro. 

Consultations, diagnoses, and treatments are provided by Filipino psychiatrists from the SPMC using the telepsychiatry systems designed by the research team. The initiative is also done in close coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

“Through health research, we aim to bring inclusive and accessible mental healthcare to Filipinos all over the world一 including our OFWs,” said DOST-PCHRD Director Jaime Montoya, sharing the Council’s motivation in supporting projects such as the telepsychiatry program for OFWs in Kuwait. “We hope that in the future, we will be able to scale up these initiatives to reach more Filipinos both locally and abroad,” he added. 

The DOST-PCHRD, through its Mental Health R&D Program, provided funding for the one-year implementation of the project. Recognizing the need for inclusive and research-based mental health services for Filipinos, Mental Health was included in the Council’s health research priority areas in 2019.

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