ICTS4eHEALTH conference (6th September 2021)

Courtney Potts presented “Insights and Lessons Learned from Trialling a Mental Health Chatbot in the Wild” at the IEEE conference ICT Solutions for eHealth. The programme can be found here iscc2021.unipi.gr/program.php. 14 people were in attendance for this session.

Chatpal Annual Conference 2021 (2-3rd September 2021)

Chatpal Annual Conference 2021 (2-3rd September 2021)

The virtual ChatPal Annual Conference hosted by Finland.

Social Welfare and Health Care Ethics in Finland (26th August 2021)

Lauri Kuosmanen made a speech at the Summer Seminar of the National Advisory Board on Social Welfare and Health Care Ethics in Finland. His topic was: Better mental health with help from AI? Participants were advisory board members and representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in Finland.

Future Minds NI webinar (19th May 2021)

At the Future Minds webinar, Dr Raymond Bond presented on “Citizen Science: motivating young people to contribute to science”. During his talk, Raymond spoke about the Chatpal project. Raymond also discussed the process utilised for designing chatpal, using a stakeholder centered design approach. There were a total of 43 participants in attendance.

SHARE Conference – Resetting the Agenda for Sustainable Healthcare (7th May 2021) Dr Lauri Kuosmanen

Session on Social sustainability and sustainable development Abstract: Aims / objectives: To describe how ChatPal, a mental health chatbot, can contribute to the idea of sustainable health care and promote mental well-being of people living in rural areas in Finland, Sweden, Northern-Ireland, Ireland and Scotland. Methods: We have designed the content of ChatPal in collaboration with mental health professionals, mental health service users and university students and staff. All development work is done in five different countries and with four different language versions. The chatbot is based partly on the needs analysis workshops carried out in the project and is based on the idea of positive psychology. Results: ChatPal offer a tool to support and promote users mental wellbeing with exercises, health related information and simple mood tracking. ChatPal is freely available in application stores. Discussion: We believe that ChatPal has potential to support citizens living in sparsely populated areas who face problems such as poor access to mental health services, lack of 24/7 support, barriers to engagement, lack of age appropriate support and reducing health budgets. Relevance to / impact on the triple bottom line: ChatPal chatbot can contribute to sustainability by overcoming physical access barriers to social connections and thus promote socially sustainable healthcare

Educating for a Digital Future in Medicine and Healthcare (14th April 2021)

Dr Raymond Bond (UU) chaired an event titled “Bringing together healthcare professionals from different disciplines, educators, AI technologists and those involved in clinical data governance. Educating for a digital future: What do healthcare professionals need to know about AI and digital health?” hosted by Ulster University. Event page can be found here. During the introductory session, Dr Bond gave an overview of the Chatpal project. The event had ~90 attendees, including the general population & health care professionals.

ChatPal on the Platform at Policy Forum NI Conference

Prof. Maurice Mulvenna will deliver a short presentation entitled, “Developing a digital health model for mental health” at the Policy Forum for Northern Ireland policy conference – morning - Wednesday 24 March 2021. 

What does the future health of our society look like?

Tuesday 16 March 2021 - - DARO event

Prof Maurice Mulvenna will deliver a presentation about digital mental health - “The role of technology in mental health and wellbeing” on Tuesday 16 March 2021 at What does the future health of our society look like? event hosted by DARO (Development and Alumni Relations Office) Ulster University. 

HSC Innovation Quality Improvement Annual Event:

Flipping the coin of Improvement Science (12th March 2021)

At this event, organised by Northern Health & Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland, Dr Raymond Bond (UU) mentioned the Chatpal project as part of his talk on “Improving improvement science with data and analytics”. The event had approximately 150 delegates in attendance, mostly health care professionals.

Scotland-Arctic Network Series:

Mental and Physical Health (22nd February 2021)

This event was part of a network series titled "Scotland’s Role and Contribution in a Changing Arctic Environment". Martin Malcolm from NHSWI reported on the Chatpal project. More details can be found on this blog. www.caledonianblogs.net/climatejustice/2021/03/08/scotland-arctic-network-series-mental-and-physical-health/

Beyond IoT Conference (25th January 2021)

Munster Technical University (MTU) hosted the ‘Beyond IoT 4.0’ annual conference on January 25th. Members of the Chatpal consortium in Nimbus developed the conference platform and the entire event took place virtually. The conference had three different ‘stages’ and workshops in parallel beyondiot.ie. The event also included a virtual exhibition hall with two floors of stands including one for ChatPal beyondiot.ie/exhibitor/chatpal/ (screenshot below). Attendees could view the virtual stand and click on links to find out more about the project, visit the project website, and watch the project video on YouTube. Project member Indika who has been involved in the chatbot development thus far delivered a presentation on the Research Stage. Indika spoke about “ChatPal - Your Positive Psychology Chatbot” sharing information on the Chatpal project, discussing MTU contributions to the project and the potential impact.

Chatpal Talks and Presentations 2020

Google forms for talks & presentations Note: Deliverable C.6.1 “Non ChatPal Events”. ChatPal will identify other relevant events that are suitable for dissemination of the project outcomes e.g. mental health events, events with overlapping stakeholders to ChatPal, NPA events, other EU projects etc. ChatPal will present at these events with photos and presentations uploaded to the project website.

Chatpal Annual Conference 2020

All partners attended this meetup online in August which was organised by Swedish partners and Ulster University. The conference included a design thinking workshop, partner meetings, keynotes and culminated with a presentation and panel discussion open for the public in Swedish which had ~150 attendees. The keynotes were provided by Professor Marcus Liwicki on “Conversational AI for Health”, John Torous MD - “Beyond Telehealth: Digital Psychiatry’s Current Applications and Research” and Sebastian Gabrielsson “Using ICT to support recovery in mental health”. In the design thinking workshop, members of the ChatPal consortium came together to put forward ideas for content for version 2 of the app based on the user needs identified in the workshops across all regions. Slides etc from conference: www.dropbox.com/sh/u26kh2j2wgi7ez2/AAD5qM37AZ6DcsPHpCbzR12Ra

VOICE Talks (28th April 2020)

VOICE Talks is hosted by Sofia Altuna, one of Google Assistant's top industry experts and a leader on the Global Product Partnerships team. The video included talks from Google experts Manuel Bronstein and Danny Bernstein about how voice technology is increasingly focusing on helpfulness and how the industry is addressing the worldwide health crisis for both consumers and businesses alike. Professor Mike McTear (UU) spoke about the Chatpal project (1:14:26). Video was posted to Youtube and received thousands of views: www.youtube.com/watch;

Local news round up (8th June 2020)

Dr Raymond Bond (UU) spoke to a local reporter about modelling the spread of CV-19, and also discussed some projects, including Chatpal. See 10:48 - 12:20 here: www.nvtv.co.uk/shows/the-round-up-monday-8th-june-2020/ 

Loneliness & Social Isolation in Mental Health Research Network (8th July 2020)

At this event, short talks on different approaches to reducing loneliness and social isolation in people with mild-moderate mental health problems were followed by small-group discussions on gaps, promising areas and research priorities. Dr Raymond Bond (UU) presented “Who wants to talk to a computer? - Chatbots for mental health and wellbeing” which included the Chatpal project. Live tweeting from thementalelf on Twitter. The talk can be found on youtube here: www.youtube.com/watch

The 13th Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Symposium (9th July 2020)

Dr Raymond Bond (UU) outlined the current challenges and opportunities for chatbots and conversational assistants to promote mental wellbeing at this conference. His talk was entitled “The Opportunity for More Human-Computer Conversations (Using Chatbots) During Social Distancing in a Pandemic”. The abstract can be found here www.tbisociety.org/public/docs/shared/21-v1-_dr._raymond_bond.pdf 

Terawe AI and Student Wellbeing Event (2nd September 2020)

At this student wellbeing event, Dr Raymond Bond spoke about the Chatpal project. This event was for Irish Higher Education thought-leaders, school administrators and counsellors focused on Student Wellbeing and the role that Artificial Intelligence can play in helping to identify students in need of assistance or timely interventions. Microsoft were also involved in the event and spoke about their AI For Good program. Members of the press attended. Dr Bond’s talk on “The Role of AI in Mental Wellbeing” can be found on Youtube (17:19): www.youtube.com/watch

9th European Conference on Mental Health (30th September 2020)

At the 8th European Conference on Mental Health @ECMentalHealth ecmh.eu, Professor Maurice Mulvenna (UU) talked about the first version of the Chatpal app, which was released earlier than anticipated on the Google play store at the end of June. Prof Mulvenna’s talk was titled “Chatbots to support mental health & wellbeing - Early findings from ChatPal app use during COVID-19 lockdown” and detailed usage thus far, lessons learned and plans for the project going forward.

Nursing Conference in University of Eastern Finland (30th September 2020)

This conference, organised by the Finnish Association of Nursing Research, is an important arena for sharing national nursing science knowledge in Finnish or Swedish. This year the theme of the conference was innovations in nursing science. At the conference, Dr Lauri Kuosmanen (UEF) presented on the ChatPal-project and utilisation of chatbots in promoting mental health and wellbeing.

Mindful of AI: Language, Technology and Mental Health event (2nd October 2020)

This event was a two-day virtual interdisciplinary workshop bringing together a diverse group of researchers from academia, industry and government, with specialisms in many different disciplines, to discuss positive and negative effects that AI-based communications technologies are currently having, and will have, on mental health and well-being. At this event, Dr Raymond Bond (UU) was invited to speak at a virtual event hosted by University of Cambridge. Dr Bond’s talk was titled “How can we ‘responsibly’ co-create chatbots to support mental wellbeing? A balancing act of what users want, what professionals will endorse and what AI can do well!” An abstract can be found here www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/assets/general/Mindful_of_AI_workshop_booklet_3.pdf. 

MENHIR Summer School (5th - 9th October 2020)

Several members of the Chatpal consortium at UU spoke at the International Doctoral Summer School in Conversational Systems for Mental e-health menhir-project.eu/index.php/summer-school-programme/. This summer school was part of the Mental health monitoring through interactive conversations (MENHIR) project. Dr Raymond Bond spoke about conversational systems for e-health in his talk "Data science for health applications". Professor Maurice Mulvenna spoke on “A review of identified needs for mental health apps”. Dr Edel Ennis presented; “Ethical issues in digital technologies and mental health”. The Chatpal project was mentioned in each talk including the ethical considerations when designing chatbots and results of needs analysis / content development workshops for Chatpal. 

Highlands and Islands Ecosystem Gathering (28th October 2020)

Series of talks on “Digital Health Innovation in the Highland and Islands: Covid needs and Opportunities”. Martin Malcolm (NHS Western Isles) presented on “Digital Innovation for social and mental wellbeing: the not so new normal in remote communities of Western Isles”.

Chatpal Talks and Presentations 2019

Non-Chatpal Events 2019 8th European Conference on Mental Health (3rd October 2019) The 8th European Conference on Mental Health (ECMH) organised by Dr Lauri Kuosmanen was held in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The conference included a session on eHealth/ Chatbots organised and chaired by Dr Lauri Kuosmanen (UEF) and Prof Maurice Mulvenna (UU). This included four talks: “Mental Health in the workplace: Using chatbots for self-assessment.” Gillian Cameron, UK “Towards a chatbot assisted mental health and wellbeing ecosystem.” Alex Vakaloudis, Ireland “Chatbots for mental health and suicide prevention: is this even ethical?” Raymond Bond, UK “Towards Conversational Coaching Agents to Support Bibliotherapy.” Patrick McAllister, UK This session took place soon after Chatpal project launched, and provided an opportunity to discuss the project launch as well as use of chatbots for mental health. Action Mental Health Directors Event (25th October 2019) Professor Maurice Mulvenna from Ulster University (UU) spoke at the annual event for Action Mental Health (AMH) Directors, Clients, Staff and Management. At this event, the staff, including counsellors from AMH and New Age Counselling were briefed on the ChatPal project

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Education, Development and Research in Mental Health Care (16th December 2020)

This is an educational event arranged by the Hospital District of Southwest Finland and Turku University of Applied Sciences. It brings together mental health professionals from Turku University Hospital, and teachers and students from Turku University of Applied Sciences. Heidi Nieminen (UEF) speaks about utilising conversational agents in mental health care and gives an overview on the ChatPal project.


Launch Event 2019

To kick off the project, lead partner Ulster University (UU) held a two-day launch event which was attended by all partners in October 2019. On the first day of the event Dr Raymond Bond and Professor Maurice Mulvenna (UU) provided an overview of the Chatpal project, objectives, work plan and deliverables as well as the plan for project outputs and dissemination. David Babington, Action Mental Health (AMH) Chief Executive spoke on AMH Services, outlining current mental wellbeing community service offerings. Dr Edel Ennis (UU) gave a talk on ethics management and current protocol overview for survey, workshops, usability testing and the trials. Prof. Catrine Kostenius and Dr Sebastian Gabrielsson from Luleå University of Technology (LTU) spoke about Digital solutions to promote mental health in children and youth. On the second day, Prof. Lauri Kuosmanen from University of Eastern Finland (UEF) gave a talk titled “Mental wellbeing: Definitions, issues and challenges”. Dr Alex Vakaloudis, Cork Institute of Technology provided examples of how the Chatpal Chatbot could look and how users could interact with it. Finally, Prof. Elaine Ramsey and David Hanna (UU) from the School of Business presented “Business models for a chatbot mental health service”.