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Technology Ecosystems: Rethinking Resources for Mental Health

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Technology Ecosystems: Rethinking Resources for Mental Health

CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing (CHI 2020) Workshop

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii Due to Covid-19, this workshop will be held virtually

Date: Friday, April 24, 2020

Despite the development of a large number of technologies designed to support mental health, adoption has remained low. However, technology has tremendous potential to support mental health, especially when considering the impact of various technologies not specifically designed for mental health, such as texting, music, wearables, online communities, games, and social media. Focusing on understanding the individual technology ecosystems of mental health management may provide a more useful approach to support mental health practices rather than focusing on a single platform or product, especially expanding beyond those designed to support mental health, explicitly.

In this CHI workshop, we will examine a constellation of digital and non-digital mental health support resources. We will discuss the needs and practices of individuals managing mental illness, how these needs relate to future ecosystems of technologies and services, and the potentials and repercussions of current technologies.

To apply to this workshop, authors should submit a 2-4 page position paper. Papers should engage with the workshop topic either by presenting relevant research findings or proposing new ideas related to mental health resources. Submit by emailing by the EXTENDED DEADLINE of 5 pm CST on February 14, 2020 (Previously Feb 11th 2020). Requirements for extended abstract submission here.

Workshop Keynote Speakers

Kelechi Ubozoh

KELECHI UBOZOH is a Nigerian-American writer, mental health advocate, and public speaker. She is the first undergraduate ever published in The New York Times. Her story of recovery is featured in O, The Oprah Magazine and the documentary, The S Word, which follows the lives of suicide attempt survivors to end the stigma and silence around suicide. She has appeared on CBS This Morning with Gayle King, presented at Cornell University, and she was featured on the Good Morning America website. A popular presenter and keynote speaker, Ubozoh previously supervised mental health programs and led communication operations at a mental health nonprofit organization. She was also the State Peer and Community Engagement Representative for the Innovation Help@Hand Project. She is the co-editor of the book, We’ve Been Too Patient: Voices from Radical Mental Health from North Atlantic Books & Penguin Random House, July 2019. We’ve Been Too Patient is a collection of diverse stories of radical healing and consider the recent movement towards reform in the mental health field.

Dr. Gavin Doherty

GAVIN DOHERTY is an Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science and Statistics, at Trinity College, Dublin, and a Fellow of the College. His research projects in the area of Human Computer Interaction focus on the issues surrounding design of technologies for healthcare, and mental health in particular. The primary aim has been to develop systems which can increase access to, increase engagement with, and assist in improving the outcomes of mental health interventions. As P.I. of the Technology Enhanced Therapy project he led the creation of the SilverCloud platform for e-health interventions, and he is co-founder of SilverCloud Health, established in 2012 and now a leading worldwide provider of online mental and behavioural health interventions. His team has explored the design of novel systems using a range of technologies, including games, smartphones, wearables, visualization and speech and language technologies. His recent work has particularly explored the delivery of interventions “in the moment”, and the potential uses of machine learning is digital health.

Workshop Goals and Outcomes

This workshop as a venue where diverse approaches can be shared (e.g., machine learning researchers; qualitative researchers; clinicians; non-profit employees; mental health activists) to create interesting conversations, enable new collaborations, and better understand the broader landscape of current and future mental health resources. Using the technology ecosystem perspective, we will outline gaps in current research and identify future opportunities. Conversations in this workshop will provide a foundation for the development of additional mental health resources as components of an ecosystem, rather than standalone “tools,” and extend the boundaries constituting mental health resources within digital mental health.

To do so, we will convene a diverse group of individuals to build upon our collective expertise and write outlines of papers for future publication. We will decide whether a special issue of JMIR, a future CHI publication, or an article in the Interactions magazine would best fit participant interest.

To learn more about mental health technologies, please see the Computing and Mental Health Symposium for a discussion of past research and insights in the area of digital mental health.

Post-Workshop Plans

Bringing together participants from varied research backgrounds will help us to create and then share our technology ecosystem perspective. The workshop will be an ideal ground to create new friendships and future research and paper-writing collaborations. We will summarize outcomes from the workshop in a blog post on our website and possibly an archival-quality paper at CHI or a similar venue. We will encourage participants to continue to work on and deepen the ideas within their papers started during this workshop.