About The Symposium

Technologies for the field of mental health are expanding rapidly, but not necessarily well. As industry sprints to capture new markets, neither available science nor patient and provider voice have been sufficiently incorporated to shape safe and effective pathways into practice.  The resulting chaos is very hard to manage for most of us, and yet we need to take full advantage of every opportunity that technology can offer to help people be well, get well, and stay well.

This symposium is the first of its kind, bringing together people with lived experience, mental health practitioners from community organizations and clinics, research and industry to think and learn together on equal footing. By working together, we can assure a healthy evolution of products and real world practice, focused on solutions that really matter. And that means design and development for what people really need, making sure new solutions are easy to use, engaging, adaptable, and financially accessible.

Everyone is welcome. No matter what sector you come from, or how much you know about technology, join us if you’re interested. The event will be informative and conversational, with some fun thrown in. Because who likes dry, stuffy conferences?

What to Expect

Our Definition of Mental Health

The definition of the field of mental health for this symposium is broad. It includes efforts to: 

• Foster overall well-being, manage stress and optimize performance 

• Prevent or reduce risks for poor mental health 

• Educate, intervene early, and treat mental illnesses and substance misuse 

• Address mental health as part of what enables physical health and recovery from illness or difficult medical treatment 

• Support recovery from episodes of mental illness and/or substance misuse

Program Focus & Content:  Symposium sessions will reflect a variety of perspectives from academic research, community practice, and the tech industry. All share the same ultimate goal of identifying, building and implementing technology solutions that support and improve people’s mental health and overall quality of life.

Technology Featured: Don’t be fooled by the name of the event. While virtual reality (VR) will be one of the technologies discussed, the symposium will address other relevant tech such as apps, applications of artificial intelligence, algorithmic learning, wearables, and other digital platforms.

Role of Community Partners:  The National Mental Health Innovation Center is proud to be collaborating with community leaders in diverse fields who all have a role in promoting community mental health. Early childhood educators, public school teachers, therapists, doctors and nurses, youth development program staff, business leaders, emergency response professionals, and more work with us through our Technology Innovation Network (TIN). Their efforts to lead and inform digital mental health innovation will be highlighted.

What’s Next?

We hope that the rich exchange of ideas and information at this year’s symposium will fuel exciting, productive innovation in the field. We expect the symposium to become an annual event that will evolve as the field of mental health technology progresses.

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