Disruptive Technologies in Mental Health

The global community agrees that mental health needs urgent addressing. And with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, technological solutions for managing mental health for people in isolation bring great promise.

The Lancet Commission for Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development argues that mental health is a human right, and that technological solutions for better mental health outcomes should be embraced. While technology brings great promise in assisting the delivery of proven interventions in mental healthcare, it has also contributed to social isolation and anxiety. However, with people around the world living in isolation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, technology becomes crucial to staying "socially connected, yet physically distant."

This initiative will discuss the mental health implications of COVID-19 and how they can be mitigated - or exacerbated - with technology. In the medium and long-term, it will build off of ethical frameworks that exist – including the Stanford Statement of Guiding Principles for Ethics in Digital Health and the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Neurotechnologies ethical framework for scaling evidence-based, tech-enabled mental health interventions – to create a new toolkit for policymakers and other leaders seeking to craft policy on mental health and technology. It will also create ethical, strategic and practical guidelines to enable innovators and implementers to reduce mental ill-health using technology. In a final phase, the project team will work with a partner country to pilot the framework.

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