Frontiers in eMental Health - The Future is Now
Our final webinar in the eMEN project focused on the future of eMental health, beyond the dramatic shift to using video platforms for therapy sessions during the pandemic. Examples included cutting-edge technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), online trauma therapies such as exposure therapy and EMDR, intelligent agents, chatbots, and dynamic sign-posting. The event also explored ways that existing eMental health applications like online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and blended care approaches can drive innovation in the post-pandemic era.
Learn more about the panelists and view their presentations
Tom Van Daele is the head of the Expertise Unit Psychology, Technology & Society at Thomas More University of Applied Sciences and the convenor of the EFPA Project Group on eHealth. His work is predominantly practice-oriented and multidisciplinary: he educates students and clinicians on the use of technology, facilitates organizations with the integration and implementation of technologies within their services, and advises policy makers on how to accommodate healthcare systems to accommodate these innovations. His practice-oriented focus is also supplemented with more basic research, through positions at both KU Leuven and Queen’s University Belfast.
Dr Mirjam J. Mink-Nijdam is a licensed psychologist and head of the research track “Evidence Based Treatment” at mental healthcare institution ARQ Centrum ’45, part of ARQ National Psychotrauma Center. She is also affiliated with the Academic Medical Center at the University of Amsterdam as an assistant professor.
Her current research focus is investigating the efficacy of innovative interventions in trauma treatment and exploring how existing treatments can be improved. In her clinical position, she provides treatment for police officers, veterans and refugees. From 2003-2014 she worked at the Department of Psychiatry at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam and completed her PhD, a postdoc position and her clinical training there. For her PhD, she conducted a randomized controlled trial that compared the efficacy of two psychotherapeutic methods for posttraumatic stress disorder, Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. As a postdoc, Mirjam investigated the role of sleep in emotional memory processing and neurocognitive functioning in posttraumatic stress disorder, in collaboration with the Brain and Cognition group of the University of Amsterdam.
Mirjam has been working on several research projects in the past, including the project “Psychosocial effects of threat and protection” commissioned by the Dutch Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Safety. For her clinical training, she worked at the Departments of Anxiety Disorders, Early Psychosis, Mood Disorders, and Sexuology. She is a national and international trainer in Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy for PTSD and 3MDR (Multimodular Motion-Assisted Memory Desensitization & Reconsolidation therapy).
Professor Maurice Mulvenna, PhD., is a researcher in computer science and artificial intelligence at Ulster University, known for his contribution to interdisciplinary research in mental health sciences with colleagues in psychology, nursing, and healthcare. Maurice has published over 400 peer-reviewed publications, and is principal investigator or investigator on more than 120 international research projects.
Professor Raymond Bond
Professor Raymond Bond has research interests within human-computer systems which has mainly included applications of biomedical and healthcare informatics (digital health). Raymond’s work has involved the application of human-computer interaction and data science/machine learning techniques to healthcare research. His work has involved health data analytics as well as the modelling, processing and visualisation of medical data to enhance clinical decision-making, including the creation of interactive decision support systems. He also has research interests in computerised simulation-based training in healthcare, usability engineering/UX data analysis methods to improve medical devices, eye-gaze analytics in clinical decision making, and is also involved in designing and evaluating digital health and wellbeing interventions.
Ian is CEO of Community Creations CLG, the voluntary organisation behind the ‘spunout’ and ‘50808’ services. spunout is Ireland’s youth information platform by young people, for young people, and 50808 is a a free 24/7 anonymous text service, providing everything from a calming chat to immediate support. spunout reaches over 300,000 young people each month through its platforms, while 50808 engages texters in around 4,500 conversations each month. Ian was a member of the National Taskforce on Youth Mental Health and is a member of the National Implementation Monitoring Committee for Sharing the Vision.
Camille Donegan (with partner Adaptas Training) produced a series of 360 films for CAMHS (The HSE Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) to help teenagers who suffer with anxiety. This project, called The Dala Project, has just been awarded the Healthcare Collaboration award in the Health Technology Innovation Awards 2021. With The Dala Project, teenagers embody Dala, a gender neutral character who is afraid to go to school. Dala uses a Pathfinder app on their phone which coaches them through breathing exercises and other techniques to overcome their anxious thoughts. The scripting, design and development of the piece was co-created with the teenagers at CAMHS Galway and Roscommon, spear-headed by Senior Occupational Therapist Niamh Morrin.
Tommy Walsh works on the Social Integration Team in Galway Simon Community. The role of this new service is to support clients back into society, through activities, training/education and employment using the theory of social role valorisation. Tommy is currently working on an “Immersive Empathy” project with Galway Simon clients. This project is using VR technology to increase empathy amongst those who have not experienced homelessness.
Barry Haughey is a Senior Youth Officer for VR Development working on the ‘VRóige’ project. VRóige currently has over 40 VR sites using VR in projects and/or connecting with young people in virtual environments, additionally, VRóige has established a National Youth Advisory Panel, with almost 20 young people joining a weekly meetup, hosted by Foróige staff. Foróige is Ireland’s largest youth organisation with over 500 staff, and 5k volunteers working with 50k young people.
Bas Goossen has a background in electrical engineering, from which he quickly engaged in European Research Projects about eHealth and active and healthy living. To bring the knowledge and result of these research projects to the market he founded MiBida B.V. With MiBida Bas focusses on providing ICT solutions that facilitate communication between professional and patients and bridges the gap between research and the real world. With Mibida Bas is able to bring new innovative technology quickly into (research) practice. Examples are video calling, online EMDR and exposure and an AI chatbot for a healthy lifestyle.