Mental Health & Technology

Developing New Technologies to transform mental healthcare

Mental health conditions affect one in four people at some point in their life, and are the largest cause of disability in the UK. The need for treatment and support far exceeds currently available NHS resource, which means that many people receive no treatment at all. We need new and better methods of diagnosing, treating and supporting people with mental health difficulties and the aim of the Mental Health & Technology theme is to develop and test these.

Led by Professor Chris Hollis, our team brings together world leading researchers from across the University of Nottingham, with expertise in a wide range of disciplines including mental health, computer science, engineering, epidemiology, cognitive neuroscience and imaging.

Working in partnership with patients and service users, the NHS and industry, we are developing the next generation of technologies that have the potential to transform the lives of people with mental health difficulties, improve healthcare delivery and also stimulate the UK economy.

We are focusing on five inter-connected research areas:

  • Digital Interventions to improve the uptake, experience and effectiveness of digital interventions for mental health. A key project is the UNFOLD study, which is using wearable technology to investigate the processes involved in developing an identity as a ‘person in recovery’
  • Objective Assessment will develop automated measures of mental health based on the analysis of natural facial expressions and speech. We will use these methods to improve the delivery of Digital Interventions.
  • Neuroimaging & Neuromodulation uses imaging (MRI) and neuromodulation to better understand conditions such as depression and Tourette syndrome and to develop new methods of diagnosing and treating these conditions
  • Decision-aid tools and risk assessment using traditional advanced statistical methods and machine learning methods to identify and measure adverse reactions to medications such as anti-depressants in order to improve treatment choices and improve safety
  • Digital User Experience applies user-centred and co-design techniques to develop personalized, adaptive and ethical interventions for mental health.

Contact us

For more information or to talk to us about our research please get in touch:
: Mental Health & Technology
: @NottmBRC_MHTech

Watch our research in action
– Michel Valstar talks about virtual humans and how they could be used in mental health care:

– How the Mental Health and Technology Theme works in partnership with service users and the public: