eMental Health Conference on Technology for Wellbeing

August 29th, 2017

ReachOut Ireland and Mental Health Reform are delighted to come together to host the fifth annual Technology for Wellbeing International Conference. The event is possible thanks to financial support from the Interreg North-West Europe Programme.

The conference will take place on Thursday, 16 November 2017 at the National Gallery, Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Confirmed speakers include Clare Dillon from Microsoft Ireland, Dr Derek Richards from SilverCloud Health and Liza Davies from ReachOut Australia. Minister of State for Mental Health, Jim Daly, will open the conference.

Register for the conference here.

The conference is being produced as part of the eMEN project, a six country European Union project funded by the Interreg North West Europe. Mental Health Reform is the sole Irish partner in eMEN. The eMEN project seeks to greatly accelerate the eMental Health sector across Europe through showcasing products and organisations and formulating policies to meet the growing need of service users and service providers for technology to support mental health care in a rapidly changing world. ReachOut Ireland have been hosting Technology for Wellbeing since 2013 and discussions with Mental Health Reform about their involvement with the eMEN project highlighted an opportunity for natural collaboration and partnership.

Dr. Shari McDaid, Director of Mental Health Reform said, “Mental Health Reform seeks to drive transformation of Ireland’s mental health services to meet the growing and changing demands on services, especially by young people. We recognise the amazing potential that technology has when applied to mental health. Our partnership with ReachOut on the Technology for Wellbeing Conference will bring a wide range of people together to hear about the latest developments and learn how technologies such as apps can empower people in the context of mental health treatment.”

Commenting on the planning process, Naoise Kavanagh from ReachOut said, “Our partnership with Mental Health Reform in hosting this conference demonstrates a strong commitment from within the sector to bring clear, positive and hopeful messages about mental health to the Irish public. There is a lot of concern and fear out there, our aim is to shine a light on the support available to all of us, in the many forms that support can take.”

Constant news and debate regarding oversubscribed and under-resourced traditional mental health services, means collaboration in the sector to explore alternative sources of support for mental health is crucial.

Research has consistently shown that the help-seeking process begins online for many people and the opportunity for technology based resources to provide more timely and more appropriate support for people with mental health need is undoubted. In turn, such innovative resources can meet significant mental health need and take pressure off over-burdened traditional services.

While there is also increasing anxiety about online privacy, cybersafety, and uncertainty about the impact of our ‘connectedness’, the Technology for Wellbeing Conference provides space for conversation to address these concerns and focus on the positive role technology plays in supporting our wellbeing.

The themes for this year’s conference include:

  • Innovation in technology and mental health;
  • social media and mental health;
  • suicide prevention and the internet;
  • mental health promotion;
  • and, cybersafety with a crosscutting theme of user empowerment.

A call for abstracts from potential contributors is now open to interested researchers, service providers and students.

The conference, which will be free to attend (funded by Interreg North West Europe Programme), will be of interest to service providers, service users, their families and friends, policy makers, health managers, clinicians, the technology sector, researchers, media, students and the general public.

The registration for the conference is opened. More details and full programme to follow. Check our website for updates: Wellbeing International Conference 2017.

Register for the conference here.