Women main users of app on screening depression: group

EMOTIONAL HEALTH::Men who are under social pressure to conceal their emotions were advised to also regularly use the self-assessing application

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Fri, May 24, 2013 - Page 5

Seventy percent of the users of a depression screening application developed by the John Tung Foundation and the Social Entertainment Enterprise are women, the foundation said, urging men to also regularly monitor their emotional health.

About 820,000 people have taken online or paper-based depression self-assessments every year since the foundation started the Depression Screening Day project in 2000, it said.

Citing a study published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry in 2011, the foundation said that depression screening at university health centers can help medical providers play a bigger role in early depression identification and intervention for students.

The foundation and its partner enterprise developed an iOS version of the app called “DS Depression Screening,” which was downloaded 40,000 times in the five months since its launch in November.

Yeh Ya-hsin (葉雅馨), head of the foundation’s mental health section, said that more than half of the app users fall in the 20-to-29 age group, which corresponds with the age distribution of smartphone users, while only 2.32 percent are aged 50 and over.

“In terms of gender, 70 percent of the depression screening app users are female,” Yeh said.

“Taiwanese men are under social pressure to conceal their emotions. By using the self-assessing application, they can take a deeper look into their mental world,” Yeh said.

Following the success of the iOS version, the foundation and the Social Entertainment Enterprise said they would release an Android version with an improved feature on after-screening advice later this month.