Alchemy Pay partners with Shamiri Institute to support mental health research in Africa

Part of the Shamiri Institute Team working on designing futuristic mental health programmes, in partnership with Alchemy Pay.

Photo credit: Shamiri Institute

Singapore-based fiat-crypto payment provider, Alchemy Pay (ACH), has partnered with Kenya’s Shamiri Institute to support the latter’s research on the use of wearable electronic devices to study whether mental health interventions that youths receive when they are in secondary school can decrease the long-term risk of adverse health outcomes.

According to Tom Osborn, the Co-Founder of Shamiri Institute, this study, which is also funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation, and includes collaborators from Harvard University, Duke University, Kenyatta University and the Africa Mental Health Research and Training Foundation, will be the first of its kind to test the effects of character strength interventions on a rich range of health outcomes over an extended period. “If we can show that simple mental health interventions not only improve mental health but also general health, then we will have a template for improving the holistic health of Africa’s youths,” Tom said.

The overall goal of the study is to investigate the long-term benefits of the Shamiri mental health intervention that teaches simple concepts such as growth mind-set, gratitude, and sense of purpose, and is designed to fundamentally change the way that youths view themselves and their place in the world.

Led by project director Tom Osborn and Katherine Venturo-Conerly, the institute’s Co-Founder and Scientific Director, the team will assess whether or not the brief character strength intervention improves long-term health and academic outcomes, and whether such interventions can be implemented for maximum impact at scale.

In recent randomised controlled trials, the multicultural and interdisciplinary US-Kenya team has shown that the Shamiri Intervention improves adolescent mental health and interpersonal relationships, with effects extending to seven-month follow-up. It also improves school grades.

A student participant in the ongoing Alchemy-Shamiri Programme.

Photo credit: Shamiri Institute

Therefore, investigating the intervention’s effects on a wider variety of long-term health outcomes is a critical next step to gauge the potential of such a character strength intervention to address global health challenges.

Founded in 2018, Alchemy Pay is an integrated fiat and cryptocurrency gateway solutions provider, powering seamless crypto and fiat acceptance for merchant networks, developers, and financial institutions. Since then, the company has driven the adoption of blockchain technology by making crypto investment, commercial transactions, and DeFi services readily accessible to consumers and institutions in traditional finance. It now works in over 70 countries, with 300 payment channels, and has touchpoints with more than two million merchants.

For Alchemy Pay, blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are fascinating modern developments that, when applied to society, can help to rebalance power and opportunity in the world. The team at Alchemy Pay believes that eventually, the inclusivity and accessibility of blockchain finance will provide an overall benefit to people in developing nations more than in other regions. The company is currently in discussions with government officials about building crypto infrastructure in numerous African nations, including Botswana, Lesotho, Sudan, and others.

Karmen Tang, Alchemy Pay’s Head of Marketing, says: “As we turned our focus to Africa, we were very keen to find charitable initiatives and give something back in a very direct and immediate way. When we spoke with the team at Shamiri, we were convinced of their work and the potential they had to significantly improve the future of young people in Africa. Their technological approach to mental health is new and innovative, and we are always drawn to innovation.”

Wearable devices such as smartwatches will allow Shamiri to track and analyse a wide range of health data, which will be extremely useful in designing tailored wellness solutions.

Photo credit: Shamiri Institute

This is a very timely partnership because poor mental health has become endemic around the world, and is now considered a global public health challenge.

Globally, there’s been an increase in the incidence of mental health problems. In Kenya, almost 50 percent of youths struggle with mental health challenges. Developing and disseminating interventions and solutions that can tackle this problem is indeed a critical step forward. The teams at Shamiri Institute and Alchemy Pay hope that their partnership will be a crucial step in developing appropriate interventions to improve mental health.

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Social media details

Twitter: Shamiri Institute – @ShamiriTeam | Alchemy Pay – @AlchemyPay

Facebook: Shamiri Institute

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