Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Technology and Mental Health Research at Trinity College Dublin: Supporting Teens through Mental Health Games & Mobile Apps

In my last post, I mentioned some of the work in technology and mental health by researchers at Trinity College.  PlayWrite is a system that is designed for mental health professionals to create and adapt 3D computer games designed for therapeutic activities with teens, and can incorporate a variety of treatment approaches. In includes a dialogue builder that can incorporate written and spoken questions.  PlayWrite can also be used to adapt exisiting games.

The Personal Investigator game was created using PlayWrite and provides solution-focused conversational strategies that are mapped onto various game areas. The game is available tor trial purposes for use by mental health professionals and researchers.  You can request a trial by contacting Dr. Gavin Doherty:  Gavin.Doherty at cs.tcd.ie

Coyle, D., Matthews, M., Sharry, J., Nisbet, A., & Doherty, G. (2005). Personal Investigator: A Therapeutic 3D Game for Adolescent Psychotherapy. International Journal of Interactive Technology and Smart Education, 2, 73-88

As a school psychologist,  I'd like to have a chance to work with the above applications.  Even more, I'd like to try out two applications that the Trinity College team designed for use on mobile phones,  My Mobile Story and Mobile Mood Diary.

I think this concept would work.  Why?

In my observations of students in high school classrooms, I've recently come across the phenomenon of students texting on their cell phones, underneath their desks, without looking,  out of sight of the teacher, but not out-of-sight of an observant school psychologist!

Matthews, M., Doherty, G., Sharry, J., & Fitzpatrick, C. (2008). Mobile Phone Mood Charting for Adolescents. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 36(2), 113-129.

(I'll post more about this soon.)

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