New app aims to support Filipino migrants’ mental wellbeing

The University of Macau and Caritas Macau have launched an app to help non-local Filipino workers with mental health problems.
On Friday, the two organizations announced an online assessment facility called Kumusta Kabayan, a digital health program that aims to improve the health of migrant workers (OFWs) from the Philippines.
Kumusta Kabayan contains health information and health resources for OFWs who want to improve their well-being in order to overcome their challenges.
The online course is based on behavioral activation, an evidence-based program delivered in five sessions where each session can be completed within 30 minutes.
When a user accesses the program, the person will answer sociological questions relating to their background, such as age and gender.
Andrian Liem, postdoctoral fellow of UM, explained that the program is designed to collect information about the factors that make a worker upset or discourage them from working. It works to help the users overcome this negativity.
Part of these sessions are personalized for each user. These features will be unlocked in every session, following the user’s progress to keep them motivated.
The app will evaluate users’ mental health before and after using the program.
Liem said that foreign workers from the Philippines suffer from the same psychological issues as non-local workers from other regions.
“The Filipino workers appear to be happy, but they may not share with others, especially not with their employers [when they are upset],” Liem commented.
At the current stage, the app is designed to primarily assist Filipino nationals. The program is only available in English and Tagalog.
Meanwhile, Caritas Macau is piloting an event called the Health Connection Program for Overseas Filipino Workers in Macau from August to December of this year.
The association is inviting OFWs, aged 18 or older, able to understand English and Tagalog, who hold a valid working visa and are planning to stay in Macau for at least six months, to participate. The organization will also organize on-site recruitment activities at churches, Caritas’ Centers, and the Philippine Consulate General in Macau.
A group of 350 Filipino workers are already confirmed to have signed up for the app.
Talking about personal data protection, the professor explained that the app does not require users to register with their real identity.

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