Dr David Coyle, TEAM

TEAM network to investigate technology-aided mental health supports for students

Dr David Coyle, TEAM

22 November 2016

A €4 million research and training network led by UCD has been launched with a view to focusing on new technologies to provide mental health services for young people.

Technology Enabled Mental Health for Young People (TEAM) is a four-year Innovation Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions initiative.

TEAM, which brings together a multi-disciplinary network of mental health experts, computer scientists, designers and policy experts from Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Spain and the UK will provide doctoral training and a research platform for 15 PhD students.

The programme is built around four key themes: assessment, prevention, treatment and policy. It aims to deliver new technologies that can support rapid, early and large-scale assessment, prevention and treatment of mental health difficulties in young people.

The overall objective of the network is to train a new generation of researchers who can help to deliver more effective, affordable and accessible mental health services for young people. The network will also focus on the design, development and evaluation of new technology-enabled services.

TEAM has nine partners; four universities (Technical University of Denmark, Technical University Vienna, University of Glasgow and UCD); two university hospitals (Medical University Vienna, Psychiatric Centre Copenhagen (Region Hovedstaden), two not-for-profit organisations (The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, ReachOut Ireland Ltd); and one industry research laboratory (Telefonica Alpha).

The network will also collaborate with national mental health charities and technology companies.

Dr David Coyle, TEAM project co-ordinator, and a researcher in human computer interaction at UCD’s School of Computer Science (pictured), said: “We are not going to address all of the challenges in youth mental health in just four years. But we do aim to train a new generation of researchers, with a unique combination of skills, who will be at the forefront of this challenge in the coming decades.

“Technology can play an important role in improving mental health services, but only if we get the details right. It was critical that TEAM had an appropriate balance of mental health experts, computer scientists and designers. Throughout the project we will work in close partnership with mental health services and with people with experiences of mental health difficulties.”

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