Presented By Shaunak Varma
Throughout the world, mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder are very prevalent. People with bipolar disorder often face many undesirable symptoms and are often susceptible to commit suicide. Lithium and other mood-stabilizers have been found to be an effective deterrent to both episodes of mania and depression. Yet, many people do not seek the professional help they need or refuse to comply to follow their prescriptions. There are various factors for this treatment gap and lack of medication compliance. They include: 1) stigma associated with the disorder, 2) undesirable physiological and psychological side effects that come with taking the medicine, 3) high cost of drugs, and 4) lack of awareness about the disorder. In this presentation, I hope to offer a sustainable way for clinicians and policy makers to incentivize bipolar patients to seek medical help or adhere to their prescription. I will also discuss incentivizing other forms of treatment, such as promoting exercise, reducing mental stress, and eliminating drug abuse.
This workshop is perfect for students, educators, therapists, researchers, development workers and clinicians interested and working in mental health.
About the Presenter
Shaunak Varma is a rising senior at Duke University. He is double majoring in Economics and Public Policy, and receiving a certificate in Global Health. He spent last summer in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he interned at the organization Healing Through Remembering. He hopes that experience, along with his current experience as Program and Research Intern with the SISGI Group, are just the foundation of a career in social work. Inspired by the ever-growing prevalence of mental illness in the world, he is particularly interested in issues that victims of psychological disorders face. Thus, as a part of this Research and Learning series, he will be discussing how to incentivize patients with bipolar disorder in India to take prescribed medications.
To access the slides from the presentation click here
To access the presentation recording click here.