Towards a chatbot assisted mental health and wellbeing ecosystem

Alex Vakaloudis, Brian Cahill, Siobhan O'Neill, Lauri Kuosmanen, RR Bond, David Hanna, Jane O'Flynn, Christian O'Leary, Gary Smith, John Swanton, Kevin O'Mahony, Con Burns, Edward Coughlan, Maurice Mulvenna

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Organisations, such as Mental Health Ireland and the Cork Mental Health Foundation and Housing Association, highlight that the current mental health service provision for citizens cannot meet the growing need to prevent and manage mental ill health. In Ireland, and indeed the world, there is little evidence to demonstrate the use of digital solutions effectively to assist citizens with mental health and wellbeing programmes. Nor is there evidence of systems to detect and monitor symptoms of moderate to chronic mental ill health.

The Nimbus Research Centre, Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), in collaboration with the ChatPal INTERREG NPA consortium, led by the University of Ulster, build on similar technical use-cases (industrial training, marketing research) and examines the use of conversational interfaces to assist with mental health and wellbeing programmes. The application of chatbots in citizens’ daily lives is ever increasing and the future suggests a seamless use of chatbots in how we work, communicate and learn. This technology presents opportunities to target citizens in remote locations where access to 24/7 mental health and wellbeing supports are not available.

This abstract aims to conduct a baseline analysis of current technology solutions in the mental health and wellbeing space. It leans towards mentioned mental health organisations, and relevant professionals, to assess the situation on the ground. It prioritises relevant use cases and commences a process to design optimum chatbot solutions. This paper provides evidence of chatbot success in similar domains, challenges arising from technical insufficiencies, user-experience constraints, and recommendations from lessons learned. This research paves the way for the deployment of suitable chatbot solutions as part of the ChatPal INTERREG NPA project.

The Nimbus Research Centre also acknowledges the support of ChatPal consortium associate partner Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) and CIT’s Department of Sport, Leisure and Childhood Studies for the research presented in this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 3 Oct 2019
EventEuropean Conference on Mental Health - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Oct 20194 Oct 2019


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Mental Health
Abbreviated titleECMH
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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