Skip to main content

Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

 Archived Content

The National Institute of Mental Health archives materials that are over 4 years old and no longer being updated. The content on this page is provided for historical reference purposes only and may not reflect current knowledge or information.

Virtual Workshop: Transforming the Practice of Mental Health Care


April 2, 2020



On April 2, 2020, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) convened a virtual workshop, Transforming the Practice of Mental Health Care: The Big Picture Workshop. The workshop featured 49 international experts with a broad range of expertise, including mental health care, psychiatric research, patient care access and services delivery, health technologies, epidemiology, biostatistics, biomedical engineering, digital health, machine learning and artificial intelligence, computational psychiatry, treatment developments, and ethics.

A major goal of the Transforming the Practice of Mental Health Care initiative is to harness advances in technology including machine learning and artificial intelligence to accelerate the practical utility of streams of data used in mental health care to inform personalized mental health care. The specific purpose of this “Big Picture” workshop was to assemble thought leaders and experts from different fields, to think through where there may be opportunities to leverage research and existing resources that could transform the mental health care landscape, moving from biomarkers and streams of data into pragmatic tools that can inform clinical treatment decision making.

The workshop had four sessions where panelists discussed the desired future state of mental health care, current state and lessons learned, how to get from here to there, and ethical considerations.

Some areas of more detailed discussion included:

  • What are the challenges and work needed to link electronic health records (EHR) system, what details in outcomes in EHR will be needed to make Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) work?
  • What will be needed to develop CDDS? Are there simple and easily understood algorithmic approaches or hybrid approaches to explore?
  • What will be needed to ensure that the social determinants of mental health are taken into consideration?
  • How would we use distributed datasets and do we link them? What factors should be universally present across all databases?
  • Will auto AI provide a solution to the need for human scrubbing of the data? Is increased annotation a better solution?
  • How do you develop buy-in and trust from clinicians and patients when developing CDSS systems? How do you ensure fairness and interpretability of the CDSS?

NIMH will distribute the recording and a more detailed meeting summary from the workshop. The outcome of this workshop will guide future discussions of the Transforming the Practice of Mental Health Care initiative, including potential future workshops and development of funding opportunities.