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DESIGNING AN INTELLIGENT TUTORING SYSTEM (ITS): A tool to support the training of mental health providers in core psychotherapy competencies

Each year, millions of Americans with mental illness struggle to find care. Nearly half of the 60 million adults and children living with mental health conditions in the United States go without any treatment. This short presentation, initially given at the 2021 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care by Emily Friedman, outlines our design process for creating an intelligent tutoring system (ITS) that would supplement in-person learning of mental health professionals and improve competency in essential skills while being cost-effective and scalable. The pilot is also discussed as well, which was very promising.

How Mental Health Apps Do (or Don’t) Support Some of COVID-19’s Most Vulnerable Populations

The emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on everyone and has greatly intensified the need for accessible mental healthcare.  The UW ALACRITY Center was given a grant by the US National Institute for Mental Health to study the acceptability, usability, and effectiveness of mental health apps for suicide prevention among essential workers and people experiencing unemployment during COVID-19, because these two populations have experienced significant hardship during this crisis. 

Learn more about this project in the article, “How Mental Health Apps Do (or Don’t) Support Some of COVID-19’s Most Vulnerable Populations” by Emily Friedman our User Research & Design Lead, published in User Experience Magazine.

Case Study: Use of Mental Health Apps by Essential Workers and Unemployed due to COVID-19

Access to mental health care by essential workers and the unemployed during the COVID19 pandemic has been challenging. Usual access to mental health care is limited by social distancing, and for many now unemployed due to closures of businesses, insurance is insufficient to cover the costs of mental health care. The aim of this project is to understand the use of mental health apps by these populations, and how well their needs are being met by what is on the market. Through our research, we have been able to determine the acceptability, feasibility, usability, and effectiveness of mobile mental health apps for addressing risk factors associated with suicide risk in essential workers and unemployed individuals.

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