On June 18th, Mental Health Reform and the Union of Students of Ireland hosted an international seminar on Technology and Student Mental Health. The event was held at Technological University Dublin, Grangegorman Campus.
The seminar addressed the potential offered by technology-supported applications (eMental Health) in student mental health services and supports. It covered a range of themes, including some existing examples of eMental Health as part of core student mental health services, innovation in third level settings, cross-campus initiatives and eMental Health courses.
The event has attracted a range of national and international expert speakers and over 100 participants. Among the keynote speakers were: Prof. Heleen Riper from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, who presented on: eMental Health, beyond state of the art & the Caring Universities project; Dr Derek Richards from SilverCloud Health and Trinity College Dublin, who talked about Developments in eMental Health for students and Prof. Jacques van Lankveld from Open University, The Netherlands, who presented on eMental Health courses for students.
The seminar also covered some examples of usage of technology in student mental health services in Ireland, including Trinity College Dublin Counselling Service, Dublin City University and Participate Social Anxiety Programme of National University of Ireland, Galway.
The last session focused on presentations from students on how they have developed technology and successfully integrated it into their campaigns. This was followed by a student leader panel, discussing the use of technology in improving students' mental health.
Speaking before the event, Executive Director of Mental Health Reform, Shari McDaid said,
“eMental Health technologies present valuable opportunities within the mental healthcare services and supports for students in Ireland and elsewhere. These types of technologies offer young people easier and potentially faster access to mental health care, and increased choice and control over their own treatment. Mental Health Reform firmly believes in empowering young individuals to take the lead in their own recovery.”
USI Vice President for Welfare, Damien McClean said,
“The Union of Students in Ireland are delighted to be co-hosting the eMental Health seminar alongside Mental Health Reform. Students across Ireland are taking the initiative to develop campaigns and platforms online through the use of social media and app development with the shared goal to help improve mental health services and create awareness amongst their peers. We have 8 students and student representatives taking part in both a presentation and panel discussion, presenting their work and discussing where they plan to take their initiatives.”