What you'll learn

  • List the taxonomy of digital interventions.

  • Describe best practices for tele-mental health delivery and processes for supporting equity and cultural accessibility.

  • Utilize online databases to develop individualized treatment plans with specific digital mental health apps through case-based learning.

  • Identify how to implement low-barrier digital interventions for both prevention and treatment of mental health disorders.

  • Summarize best practices for online groups, and discuss the use of new technologies for augmenting care, such as computerized adaptive testing for population health screening, technology-assisted meditation and mindfulness, medication adherence tracking and wearable devices. 

Course description

Technology is expanding clinicians' capacity to provide care remotely and to enhance treatment outcomes, while also reducing barriers to learning therapeutic skills through the dissemination of a plethora of apps in both the public and clinical domains. While many patients and clinicians have started using telemedicine, everyone can benefit from learning best practices to ensure safety and effectiveness in this new setting. This course will introduce learners to the burgeoning field of digital mental health. 

The course will present a taxonomy of digital interventions, including those which are provided in the context of a professional relationship/therapeutic contract and those which are provided as self-help tools. We will describe the differences between consumable and non-consumable interventions, and the potential to reach very large numbers of people worldwide with the latter. We will also discuss the latest evidence for the prevention of mental disorders such as depression, and the opportunity to make preventive interventions widely available using digital tools. 

The task of learning how to start adding technology to one's practice, and researching the breadth of what is available, can feel daunting. This course will lay an introductory foundation of key concepts in the field to enhance participants' knowledge and confidence. We will summarize the various purposes for using technology, review targeted apps for specific conditions, discuss legal and ethical issues as well as best practices and explore how these new digital tools can be utilized equitably and safely in clinical practice and the promotion of community mental health. We welcome all clinicians and healthcare administrators in the mental health space to join us in a convenient weekly format. This accredited course is offered by Cambridge Health Alliance. This course is targeted toHealthcare Administrators, Primary Care Physicians, Specialty Physicians, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Psychologists, Social Workers and Counselors. Contact ceprograms@hms.harvard.edu with questions. Register before February 16, 2023 to receive the discounted price. 

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