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Support program has roots in Basel

The online program Selfapy supports people suffering from mental health conditions during the coronavirus lockdown. BaselArea.swiss has provided startup help by way of its DayOne initiative.

DayOne experts
DayOne experts. Image Credit: BaselArea.swiss

The regional business promotion organization BaselArea.swiss is implementing numerous measures to support medical innovations by way of its DayOne initiative. In this context, the DayOne Experts event was held back in February, which placed the focus squarely on the issue of mental health. The participants included Professor Gunther Meinlschmidt, Research Director at the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine at the University Hospital Basel, in addition to the Berlin-based startup Selfapy. Following the event in Basel, Meinlschmidt and Selfapy have developed an online course for people suffering from mental health disorders during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

The free Selfapy program begins with an informative talk over the telephone or via email. During the online course, participants receive access to interactive exercises, videos and informative texts. A psychologist supports the participants and answers any questions they might have. In addition, the participants will be assessed personally and receive feedback on their progress.

“We followed the approach of developing a relatively broad service to offer those affected”, comments Meinlschmidt in an interview published on the website of the International Psychoanalytic University Berlin. “It consists of 12 modules into which we poured general knowledge relating to coping mechanisms and resources in the context of catastrophes and mental illnesses, all connected with specific strategies tailored to the current COVID-19 situation”, he adds. The service can be used by anyone aged 18 or over and is aimed at “people who are feeling the strain and want to do something to improve their mental health and feel less stressed during the ongoing pandemic situation.”

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