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In November 2016, the Centre for Translational Informatics (CTI) held a unique technology ideas generation workshop, co-led by mental health service users and Citizens With Experience (CWE) solutions.

The workshop was attended by a group of people with a range of skills and experiences, including mental ill-health, and / or experience of working with people with a mental health diagnosis.  The aim of the day was to provide an open forum for participants’ ideas and opinions on technology in mental health, as a first step to turning these ideas into actions.

Participants discussed their experiences of using mental health technology, as well as generating ideas for new technologies, or how existing technologies could be better used.

Ideas discussed included “gamification” (encouraging healthy activities through specially designed computer games) – an approach already gaining traction in many areas of health – and technology-based approaches to improve the signposting and information available to individuals about their mental health.

At the workshop, CTI researchers had the opportunity to discuss the ideas generated with participants in considerable depth, and also to explore how they might fit with existing programmes of research, or whether they would require an altogether new approach.

The next steps are to establish potential synergies between the ideas generated, and to begin identifying the resources and processes needed to begin developing them into pilot products.

The CTI aims to accelerate digital innovation in mental healthcare and other health services by putting people with experience of mental illness and mental health professionals at the heart of our projects as designers and developers.  We plan to hold more technology ideas workshops in 2017 – so to find out more, or register your interest, please contact us.

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