Conversational agents for mental health apps: now with added artificial empathy

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Matthew Bennion reviews two recent studies that sought to develop artificially empathic conversational agents for use in mental health.

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Smartphone apps for depression: do they work?

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Michelle Eskinazi and Clara Belessiotis write their debut elf blog on a recent meta-analysis of smartphone‐based mental health interventions for depression, which concludes that there is a possibly promising role for apps in the prevention and treatment of sub-clinical, mild and moderate depressive symptoms.

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The Lancet Psychiatry Commission on psychological treatments #SeeingFurther

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Ioana Cristea highlights some of the key ideas from the recently published Lancet Psychiatry Commission on psychological treatments research in tomorrow’s science. She also raises a number of objections to the 50-page report, which we hope will generate some much needed discussion on this topic.

Look out for our #SeeingFurther podcast with the authors of the Commission and a Twitter chat at 12:30pm GMT on Monday 19th March.

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Can virtual reality CBT help people with psychosis be more sociable?

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André Tomlin appraises a new RCT published today of virtual reality CBT versus waiting list control for paranoid ideation and social avoidance in people with psychosis.

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Facing our inner voices: AVATAR therapy for auditory hallucinations in people with psychosis

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Joe Barnby summarises a recent RCT in The Lancet Psychiatry of AVATAR therapy for auditory verbal hallucinations in people with psychosis.

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Youth online discussion forums: how do young people support each other and what do they talk about?

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Masters students from the ICH Child and Adolescent Mental Health course explore a recent qualitative study into how young people use the Kooth online discussion forum for emotional and mental health issues.

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Can we build cities that aren’t traps for those at risk of mental ill-health?

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Mark Brown blogs about the new Urban Mind study, which looks at how smartphones can measure the impact of nature on mental well-being in real time.

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The chatbot therapist: can we mimic therapy support with a conversational agent? #DigiMHweek

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Andres Fonseca helps us prepare for the #Mindtech2017 chatbot/artificial intelligence debate by summarising a recent trial of a fully automated conversational agent for promoting mental well-being.

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Digital inclusion: mental health technologies for people with learning disabilities #DigiMHweek

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Leen Vereenooghe summarises a recent review paper that presents the state of the evidence and future directions for digital mental health and people with intellectual disabilities.

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