Quantitative account of social interactions in a mental health care ecosystem: cooperation, trust and collective action Articles uri icon

publication date

  • February 2018


  • 8

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2045-2322


  • Mental disorders have an enormous impact in our society, both in personal terms and in the economic costs associated with their treatment. In order to scale up services and bring down costs, administrations are starting to promote social interactions as key to care provision. We analyze quantitatively the importance of communities for effective mental health care, considering all community members involved. By means of citizen science practices, we have designed a suite of games that allow to probe into different behavioral traits of the role groups of the ecosystem. The evidence reinforces the idea of community social capital, with caregivers and professionals playing a leading role. Yet, the cost of collective action is mainly supported by individuals with a mental condition - which unveils their vulnerability. The results are in general agreement with previous findings but, since we broaden the perspective of previous studies, we are also able to find marked differences in the social behavior of certain groups of mental disorders. We finally point to the conditions under which cooperation among members of the ecosystem is better sustained, suggesting how virtuous cycles of inclusion and participation can be promoted in a 'care in the community' framework.


  • Mathematics