Global Developmental Goals are being seriously damaged by poor mental health circumstances.
According to the World Health Organisation, depression, often stemming from childhood, is one of the main causes of disability, preventable physical illnesses, suicide and premature deaths, especially among teenagers and young adults.
Children between the ages of 6 to 14 find it difficult to deal with internal or external pressures that can cause stress or associated disorders. Sometimes, their effects don't manifest right away or over the course of a lifetime but have long-lasting impacts on one's relationships, education, well-being, and way of life.
The problem of untested, hardly investigated, and misunderstood mental health issues among children is widespread. It exists globally due to a lack of awareness, information and access to resources on a personal as well as an administrative level.It is thus crucial to care for and cultivate the next generation's mental health in a sustainable and careful manner by diagnosing mental health conditions at early ages.
'Akshar' (translates to 'letter), is a social innovation that intends to measure and analyse the psychological mind-space of those reeling from PTSD through the sound principles of Psychoanalysis. Insisting that everything drawn by a child tells a story about said child and that it is not very difficult to read, literally, between these lines.
The design currently involves 3 simple tests for children aged between 5-14 that can be conducted at their most common point of contact- their schools. The paper test uses graphology, the drawing test uses psychoanalysis and the app-based test uses information gathered from experts in the field of psychology and psychotherapy that is stored in a knowledge base.
Together, the three tests analyse potential stressors, harmful elements, points of unhappiness and more in a child's mind to diagnose any signs, symptoms and potential impacts of PTSD.
According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, in 2019, at least 50 million children in India had mental health issues; 80% – 90% have not sought support. Yet, India spends only 0.05% of its health budget annually on mental health. This points out the urgent need for social, rather than commercial, systems.
So, Akshar is free of cost to install and use, via any smartphone. But, additional services like consulting a verified psychologist, will be chargeable. Sponsored ads would be allowed to recover the cost of development and maintenance.