Aug. 23 2019
A Better Future for Mental Health & Technology
By coming to Anxiety Tech, you will learn how to advocate for mental health at work, how technology can be better designed to support mental health, what technologies are already working to help those who suffer with mental illnesses, and how you or your company can be leaders in this field.
Anxiety, Technology & Mindfulness
It's okay to not be ok.
Hacking to improve our Mental Health
In this session, learn why happy, fulfilled individuals form motivated, high-performing teams, and how to implement better mental health initiatives to increase your team’s output, and your company’s profits.
As we move through the constructed spaces of the day-to-day, our bodies undergo a series of measurable changes that indicate shifts in affective states. Our unique project combines portable biosensors with GPS data to provide textured renderings of such states as they emerge in the human body.
Our mental health system is unscalable and many people lack access to therapy. Self-help apps and bots are a possible solution, but they don’t work for everyone, and some prefer human support. What if your friends could become “cyborg” therapists with help from technology? Come learn how it works!
It’s easy to get discouraged when battling mental illness in a fast-paced tech environment. The problem is not us; it’s the “one-size-fits-all” approach of many workplaces. I’ll share my experiences to show the good and the bad, and do my best to restore some hope for further down the career path.
Heavy screen time has been linked to depression, fatigue, and stress. What does this mean? In an always on, always connected world and an industry that releases products every day, tech is increasingly ingrained into our ethos. With screens on fridges, voice technology rising, and accessibility enabled interactions- knowing screen time isn’t enough to truly understand how it’s affecting our mind and body. We need to take into account the diversity of experiences we all have with technology to build better and more responsible products. In this talk, I’ll share questions we should be asking to better understand the evolving relationship between humans and technology and how it’s affecting us- mentally, physically and socially.
Asian Americans are three times less likely than the general population to seek mental healthcare. African American women are 2 to 6 times more likely to die from maternal mortality in a large part due the racial trauma and stress they experience during their lifetime regardless of income. These are a few examples of where minorities have severe mental health disparities as compared to the general population. A large body of literature now shows mindfulness meditation can reduce anxiety, depression, stress and much more. Ongoing studies have assessed the huge potential to incorporate mindfulness-based stress reduction into improving wellbeing for communities of color. How can we utilize this growing research in developing technology to offer quality mental health options in the form of mindfulness for diverse communities? Who are the existing players in the space, and where are there gaps?
The talk will include information regarding the starting blocks of being a successful Artificial Intelligence practitioner for deep learning in the field of mental health, and discuss various case studies where AI has already helped curb the progress and prevalence of certain mental health conditions. Then, we move on to introducing the concept of Dual Diagnosis (a condition where a patient exhibits two different kinds of addiction issues) and the challenges it presents, and mention some possible solutions for it.
Being a good developer isn’t just about slinging code; we’re part of a community. Interacting with others in a community means feelings are involved. In this talk you’ll learn how emotions are affecting you by modeling them as an API and looking at the code.
I’m a software engineer with a psychology PhD, yet it took having a baby to make me realize I struggle with anxiety and depression. When life at home was too much to handle I used my work as a refuge. I’ll share how this, and other coping strategies I developed, stopped working when I became a mom.
Whether you are lost down the Instagram rabbit hole or you get push notifications from your news app, you know the feeling: Why don’t I feel like I’m in charge? This talk will explain how we are manipulated by tech and provide open-source solutions that guide you to a healthier digital environment.
Learn why design principles and patterns with mental health in mind actually lead to a better user experience for everyone, and how you can implement them in your own workflow and products.
What do robots, cancer survivorship, and lonely teenagers have in common? They are inextricably linked through Hopelab’s unique process for developing science-based technologies that improve the health and well-being of young people. This talk will highlight our process, our co-designed products, and our research.
Julia Nguyen is a community organizer, writer, keynote speaker, and senior software engineer. Julia is the founder of if-me.org, an open source mental health communication app. She created Southeast Asian Ladies in Tech. She is a speaker for Prompt. She helped organize Write/Speak/Code San Francisco and the University of Waterloo Women in Computer Science. She currently works at Mailchimp.
Judson Brewer MD Phd is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center and associate professor in psychiatry at the School of Medicine at Brown University. He also is a research affiliate at MIT. A psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Brewer has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments for smoking, emotional eating, and anxiety.
Vinciane is the Director of Learning & Culture for Versett, a product design and engineering studio and consultancy. One of her primary mandates is heading up diversity and inclusion initiatives. As an individual who lives with depression and anxiety she knows firsthand how workplace environments can help or hinder mental health and is dedicated to building strong, collaborative teams and a supportive company – including better mental health initiatives – that she hopes will become the norm across the industry.
As an immigrant Bengali woman that discovered her profound hearing loss at age eight, Ariba focuses on advocating for diverse, marginalized voices that are often overlooked and ensuring we bring humanity into tech. After a varied background including Biomechancial Engineering, engineering research publications, and a stint at medical school, Ariba lead operations and product management for industry-shifting startups. This work and her passion for social impact brought her to the Ad Council as the Director of Innovation, where she’s charged with scaling design thinking and agile practices, creating digital products to create measurable social impact, and exploring future-forward technology for the organization
Danielle Ramo, PhD is a clinical psychologist and research director at Hopelab, a social innovation lab designing science-based technologies to support adolescent health and emotional well-being. She is also Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UC San Francisco, leading a research program at the intersection of substance use and digital mental health. She has published over 70 peer-reviewed publications and multiple book chapters in drug use and mental health, and received grants from the National Institutes of Health and the California Tobacco-Related Diseases Research Program. Dr. Ramo has written opinion pieces for the San Francisco Chronicle and Thrive Global, and regularly speaks to teens and parents about substance use and mental health in the digital age.
Craig A. DeLarge is a digital healthcare strategist, and founder of The Digital Mental Health Project. A project to support the accelerated and responsible adoption of digital technology in the mental health space. He has held a variety of marketing and digital health roles throughout his career with Takeda Pharma, Merck, Novo Nordisk, GSK, J&J, Communications Media, Inc, IMS Health and the (U.S.) National Alliance on Mental Illness. His core expertise are in the areas of customer & business development, strategy & communications, and the topic of digital mental health.
John is an Engineering Manager at Privia Health. He’s been programming professionally for two decades, in Perl, Java, PHP and Ruby. In recent years he has also been teaching workshops which help people get deeply in touch with themselves and liberated from past traumas. He has fused his expertise from these disparate areas into a new way of thinking about them both.
Sarah has spent her career working across the interdisciplinary arts, academia, healthcare and technology as a producer, curator, artist and researcher. Following a one time episode of psychosis, she moved into working with immersive technologies to communicate lived experience, and support it’s applications across healthcare, education, art and storytelling. Sarah has worked with organisations including the NHS, Immerse UK, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, YouTube VR Creators Lab, Lighthouse Arts, The School of Life, TEDxSydney and The Big Anxiety Festival. In addition, she has undertaken academic research with The University of New South Wales, Australia and Stanford University, California before founding Hatsumi in February 2018.
Anne Wu is the co-founder of HackMentalHealth, the leading mental health tech community fostering 5,000+ academics, industry experts, thought leaders, and advocates. Most recently, she organized the world's largest mental health hackathon in San Francisco. Mental health is deeply personal to Anne, inspiring her to study Psychology at UC Berkeley and to become a certified yoga instructor to share the ways movement + meditation can cultivate a healthy mind and body. Anne has a background in management consulting, technology implementation / adoption, and business operations.
Stephen Cognetta is the co-founder of HackMentalHealth, the world's largest mental health technology community and host of the world's largest mental health hackathon. Through HackMentalHealth, Stephen has brought together thousands of individuals who are passionate about the mental health technology field and partnered with companies like Google, Mindstrong Health, Greylock Partners, Joyable, LinkedIn, Collective Health, Hopelab, and more. Stephen has been featured for his work in the National Institute of Mental Illness, The Globe and Mail, and others. Stephen is a former Google product manager.
Eva Conti is a wearer of many career hats, including developer, quality assurance lead, automation engineer, and security engineer at Andromeda LLC. She is a games industry survivor with a passion for mental health and chronic illness advocacy, using her voice to share her own experiences with CPTSD, Sjogren's Syndrome, and fibromyalgia in the hopes that it will bolster awareness and encourage others who live with similar challenges to fight for their rights and not give up on thriving versus simply surviving. In her spare time, she is an organizer for the #include<C++> community, planner for CppCon, and mom to two guinea pigs and a rabbit.
Bradley is a product designer based in London, England. Co-founder and design lead at Caus, he focuses on creating digital experiences that help tackle mental illness; through building tools such as crisis prevention systems, facilitating workshops on tech and wellbeing, and collaborating with teams across the globe to make their products mental health friendly.
Norian Caporale-Berkowitz was an early employee at Coursera and the Minerva Schools and is now completing his PhD in Counseling Psychology at UT-Austin. His research focuses on scalable and preventive mental health interventions and is funded by the university’s top recruiting fellowship. Norian sees the workplace as a potential force multiplier for decreasing loneliness, catalyzing meaningful interpersonal connection and fostering mental health prevention, and his writing on peer coaching has been featured in Harvard Business Review.
Harshinee Sriram is a junior in SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai and a member of the Artificial Intelligence Research Team in the Association of Computing Machinery - SRM Chapter. Her area of research revolves around developing Artificially Intelligent devices that help identify, regulate, and combat a range of mental health conditions. She is the author of an Amazon Bestseller titled The Horrors of Happiness and a co-author of the book Horn OK Please - Pandora's Box - yearly proceeds of which are donated to the Dalai Lama Trust for advancement and welfare. Apart from this, she is also an active LGBTQ+ activist who believes that every little action, when considered cumulatively, can help make a difference in the picturesque series of fleeting moments that we call the Human Life.
Pete Dunlap us founder of Digital Detangler, creator of ScrollStopper (Chrome extension), and author of Digital Detangler: A Guide to Mindful Technology Use, is a leading voice in the movement for humane technology. He speaks on digital wellness (ways technology use can support rather than detract from our mental health) across the country. Named The Moth’s Nashville StorySlam Champion for his storytelling ability, he's been featured on podcasts and local media.
Emma Colner is a software engineer. Over the past 6+ years she has built internal tools at CrowdFlower and Stitch Fix, organized and led Women Who Code meetups, taught at Railsbridge, mentored with ChickTech, and spoken at Girl Geek Dinners. She has a passion for making technology careers more accessible to those who might think they're out of reach, and working on products that combine human intelligence and empathy with computer algorithms. Prior to her life in tech, she studied the cognitive and neural mechanisms of perception, attention and anxiety at UC Berkeley, Vanderbilt University and NYU, where she earned her PhD in Experimental Psychology.
A.T. Kingsmith is an anxiety researcher and mixed media documentarian whose work examines the effects of precarious labor, urban development, and networked digital information technologies on the political economy of mental health. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics at York University, a research fellow at the University of British Columbia Urban Studies Lab, co-director of the Affective Cartography Society, and co-founder of EiQ, a tech company utilizing wearable biometrics to improve the mental hygiene and emotional awareness of its users.
Sam Bernecker is a psychology researcher who aims to develop scalable tools to reduce the burden of mental illness and alleviate loneliness. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, where she is completing projects focused on understanding and reducing suicidal behaviors among US military servicemembers. She earned her PhD from the University of Massachusetts, where she developed a scalable course for training peer counselors. This coming winter, she is transitioning from academia to industry with the goal of translating insights from inside the "ivory tower" into resources available to the general public.
Priya Iyer is a public health scientist and a mindfulness meditation teacher. As a recovering founder, she began exploring the mind-body connection in more depth through Communities Rizing, a 200-hour mindfulness and yoga teacher training for people of color. Previously, she's worked at Genentech and MIT's Poverty Action Lab, when she learned to program in Python to improve health access for underserved populations. She also founded Tulalens, a service and app to address iron-deficiency anemia for women in India's slum areas. Priya began meditating as a teenager as a way to stay connected to her Indian heritage. She holds an MPH in Epidemiology from Columbia University.
More speakers to be announced soon.
Please contact [email protected] if you're interested in sponsoring.
All attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at our conference are required to agree with the following code of conduct. Organisers will enforce this code throughout the event. We are expecting cooperation from all participants to help ensuring a safe environment for everybody.
Our conference is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, Twitter and other online media. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organisers.
Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, mental illness, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, technology choices, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.
Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.
Sponsors are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, sponsors should not use sexualized images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualized environment.
If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the conference organisers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund. refund. If behavior warrants security or police presence, those authorities will be contacted.
If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of conference staff immediately. Conference staff will be wearing AnxietyTech t-shirts. You can also e-mail reports to [email protected] and they will be dealt with promptly.
Conference staff will be happy to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance.
We expect participants to follow these rules at conference and workshop venues and conference-related social events.