The 3rd Symposium on Computing and Mental Health

The 3rd Symposium on Computing and Mental Health provides an opportunity for researchers to meet under the auspices of CHI 2018. It follows two successful symposia at CHI 2016 and 2017. In convening at CHI we are especially interested in work that seeks to understand users and contexts. This lends itself naturally to a focus on disadvantaged groups and social inclusion.

Please join us at Palais des Congrès de Montréal on Sunday 22nd April for a stimulating lineup of activites including:

  • keynote presentations
  • presentations by Special Issue authors
  • poster sessions by all authors
  • design exercise
  • panel discussion
  • discussion on future directions

Use access code Sym04access and choose symposium Symp04 when you register.

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline: 15 February 2018      (was 2 Feb)
  • Acceptance notifications: 22 February 2018
  • Symposium: Sunday 22 April 2018
  • Special issue papers due by: Jan 2019

Call For Participation

The World Health Organization predicts that by the year 2030, mental illnesses will be the leading disease burden globally. Advances in technology create opportunities for close collaboration between computation and mental health researchers. The intersection between ubiquitous computing and sensing, social media, data analytics and emerging technologies offers promising avenues for developing technologies to help those in mental distress. Yet for these to be useful and usable, human-centered design and evaluation will be essential. The third in our series of Symposia on Computing and Mental Health will provide an opportunity for researchers to come together under the auspices of CHI to discuss the design and evaluation of new mental health technologies. Our emphasis is on understanding users and how to increase engagement with these technologies in daily life.

The full Call-For-Papers is available here. Please cite as “G. Wadley, R.A. Calvo, J. Torous, M. Czerwinksi (2018). ­­3rd Symposium on Computing and Mental Health: Understanding, Engaging, and Delighting Users. in Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems.”

We welcome four submissions types:

  • Short papers (max 4 pages not counting bibliograpy) are expected to be developed later for inclusion in a special issue of JMIR, to be published in May 2019. Authors will present a poster at the symposium.
  • Long papers should be submitted straight to JMIR. Authors will be invited to give a talk at the symposium.
  • Posters describe work-in-progress, a technology, or an existing publication.
  • Social papers are maximum one page and act as a CV describing you and your work, to support networking at the symposium.

Short and social papers should be submitted to Easychair in CHI Extended Abstracts format and will be made available before the symposium via this website. Please note that at least one author of each accepted submission must register for both the workshop and at least one day of the main conference. Our earlier special issue of JMIR is available at .

Keynote Speakers

Steve Whittaker is Professor of Psychology at UCSC. He works at the intersection of Psychology and Computer Science. He studies how technology is affecting fundamental aspects of our everyday lives, using insights from Cognitive and Social Science to design new digital tools to support well being and to help manage personal information. His past research has been funded by the EU, NSF, EPSRC, Google and Microsoft, and he has worked at Bell Labs, IBM Labs and HP Labs. He is Editor of Human Computer Interaction. His awards include a Lifetime Research Achievement Award from the Association of Computation Machinery Computer Human Interaction Society, and he is an ACM Fellow.

Shalini Lal is Principal Scientist and Assistant Professor at the School of Rehabilitation, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal. Her research involves teh development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative models to increase access to mental health care for youth and their families, leveraging information and communication technologies to support and augment the delivery of mental health care, and studying the impact of services on youth resilience, recovery, and service engagement based on patient and family perspectives. She is a Principal Lead of ACCESS-Canada, a pan-Canadian network that is implementing and evaluating service transformation in youth mental health at sites across Canada.

Gunther Eysenbach conducts research into healthcare, health policy, eHealth, and consumer health informatics. He is senior scientist at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation at the University Health Network (Toronto) and associate professor in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) and organizer of the annual Medicine 2.0 Congress.


Greg Wadley is a lecturer in the School of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His research involves the design and evaluation of technologies for health and wellbeing. He specializes in collaborations with colleagues in health disciplines and has received funding for 14 projects in youth and perinatal mental health, occupational health, smoking cessation, social connection and Indigenous wellbeing. He leads a project to design and trial virtual reality software for youth mental health. In 2016 he co-founded a team which has received funding from the ARC to carry out a 3 year Discovery Indigenous project to co-design technologies with Indigenous Australians. He holds degrees in computer science (Queensland), cognitive science (Melbourne), and human-computer interaction (Melbourne).

Rafael A. Calvo is Professor at the University of Sydney, and ARC Future Fellow. He worked at the Language Technology Institute in Carnegie Mellon University, Universidad Nacional de Rosario (Argentina) and on sabbaticals at the University of Cambridge and the University of Memphis. Rafael also has worked as an Internet consultant for projects in the US, Australia, Brasil, and Argentina. He is the author of two books and over 100 publications in the fields of learning technologies, affective computing and computational intelligence. Rafael is Associate Editor of the Journal of Medical Internet Research Human Factors (JMIR-HF), co-Editor of the Oxford Handbook of Affective Computing, and co-author of Positive Computing (MIT Press) with Dorian Peters.

John Torous, MD is co-director of the digital psychiatry program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliated teaching hospital, where he also serves as a staff psychiatrist and clinical informatics fellow. He has a background in electrical engineering and computer sciences and received an undergraduate degree in the field from UC Berkeley before attending medical school at UC San Diego. He completed his psychiatry residency at Harvard. Dr. Torous is active in investigating the potential of mobile mental health technologies for psychiatry, developing smartphone tools for clinical research, leading clinical studies of smartphone apps for diverse mental illnesses, and publishing on the research, ethical, and patient perspectives of digital psychiatry. He serves as editor-in-chief for JMIR Mental Health and currently leads the American Psychiatric Association’s work group on the evaluation of smartphone apps.

Mary Czerwinski is an American cognitive scientist and computer-human interaction expert who works for Microsoft Research as manager of their research group on visualization and interaction. Czerwinski earned her doctorate in cognitive psychology from Indiana University. She worked in computer-human interaction for Bellcore, the Johnson Space Center, and Compaq, and also held an adjunct position at Rice University while at Compaq. She moved to Microsoft in 1996, as a usability manager in product development. Two years later, she joined Microsoft Research. She is an adjunct professor in the University of Washington’s Information School. In 2015 she was named a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery “for contributions to human-computer interaction and leadership in the CHI community.”