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The Future of Work in Behavioral Healthcare Workshop

The Future of Work in Behavioral Healthcare Workshop

Pervasive Health 2020
Atlanta, GA, USA


Workplaces in behavioral healthcare are on the cusp of a massive transformation. Clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, social workers, and clinicians from adjacent disciplines will soon develop symbiotic relationships with machines that levage ubiquitous computing and cyberspace to make work more effective, efficient, and rewarding. The future of work in behavioral healthcare will not be constrained by subjective data from patients and the clinician’s unreliable intuition. Rather, the future of work in behavioral healthcare will emphasize intelligent tools, objective data, and actuarial decisions while allowing clinicians to focus on strengths rooted in their humanity: expressing compassion, building hope, and praising growth and development. In the year 2020, however, the vast majority of stakeholders in behavioral healthcare is unaware of this approaching transformation. Current training programs and treatment delivery infrastructures are not preparing clinicians to take advantage of emerging technologies and procedures that have profited other industries.

This workshop will bring together technologists and stakeholders within various domains of behavioral healthcare. Discussions will include how to identify areas of need, how to forge new collaborations, and how to partner with clinicians to embrace the rise of technologies while navigating risks. To capture the scope of the future of work in behavioral healthcare, organizers will solicit position papers of diverse content with respect to clinical disciplines, patient populations, diagnoses, assessments, and interventions.

Name, affiliation, postal address, and email address for each organizer

Andrew M. Sherrill, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Clinical Psychologist, Emory Healthcare Veterans Program
Emory University School of Medicine
12 Executive Park Drive, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30329
(404) 727-7296
[email protected]

Rosa I. Arriaga, Ph.D.
Associate Chair for Graduate Affairs,
Senior Research Scientist,
School of Interactive Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA 30313
[email protected]

Christopher W. Wiese, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Georgia Institute of Technology
654 Cherry Street Northwest
JS Coon 229
Atlanta, GA 30313
[email protected]

Albert “Skip” Rizzo, Ph.D.
Director, Medical Virtual Reality – Institute for Creative Technologies
Research Professor – Dept. of Psychiatry and School of Gerontology
University of Southern California
12015 East Waterfront Dr.
Playa Vista, CA 90094
[email protected]

David C. Mohr, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies (CBITs)
Professor of Preventive Medicine (Behavioral Medicine), Medical Social Sciences and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University
Rubloff Building Suite 10-105
750 N Lake Shore
Chicago, IL 60611
[email protected]

Background and Motivation:

  • Like all industries, behavioral healthcare is on the cusp of transformation marked by workers forming symbiotic relationships with emerging technologies. The transformation will be motivated by the need for healthcare to be more effective and efficient. Costs in behavioral healthcare are tremendous and access to evidence-based treatment is highly restrictive. Government agencies and local communities are interested in ensuring that all people benefit from advances in behavioral healthcare. Technological innovations can address these needs while simultaneously ensuring the future of work in behavioral health becomes more rewarding; that is, to enhance the working experience rather than diminish it.
  • Despite anticipated benefits of new technologies, neither clinicians nor their institutions are prepared for the transformation. The time is now to build communities interested in the future of work in behavioral healthcare. These communities should involve contributions and feedback from all stakeholders, as each perspective is needed to see and fully appreciate the horizon of future work.
  • This workshop aims to build a community by casting a wide net of subject matter, which may help identify universal ideas and concerns regarding the future of work in behavioral healthcare. Anticipated questions include:
    • What kind of training is required by clinicians to adopt innovations? And who will provide this training?
    • What kind of mindset shift does there need to be from a provider perspective? And how will issues of compliance be addressed?
    • What do technologists need to learn to make innovations acceptable to clinicians?
    • How can technologists communicate with those in most need of advances to the workplace such as those with few resources yet great capacity demands?
    • What skills to clinicians possess that can facilitate the work of technologists?


  1. Sharing current innovative ideas and projects that are intended to improve aspects of work in behavioral healthcare.
  2. Understanding how clinicians and technologists can collaborate and share complementary skills and perspectives to improve work in behavioral healthcare.
  3. Predicting the benefits and risks of emerging innovations for work in behavioral healthcare.
  4. Identifying priorities for new research directions for the future of work in behavioral healthcare.
  5. Building a community around the future of work in behavioral healthcare.
  6. Disseminating workshop contributions in a special section of an EAI-affiliated journal (details to be determined during workshop).


  • Description:
    • Combination of brief and in-depth presentations, demonstrations, discussion with non-technical stakeholders, and generation of prioritizes and risks.
  • Target number of participants:
    • 6
  • Schedules
    • 90 minutes:        Five panelists will present brief presentations on their experience and expertise
    • 15 minutes:        Coffee break
    • 120 minutes:     Participants will present 20-minute presentations of their ongoing projects (demonstrations of technology encouraged) to the five panelists and other workshop participants
    • 60 minutes:        Lunch
    • 120 minutes:     Each panelist will provide individual feedback to the participant based on their experience and expertise in a  “round robin sequence”
    • 15 minutes:        Coffee Break
    • 90 minutes:        All participants and panelists will reconvene to discuss commonalities and differences in participants’ projects and then generalize the discussion to the larger domain of “the future of work in behavioral healthcare,” noting priorities for research and potential risks.

Soliciting Submissions:

  • Organizers will circulate a call to relevant mailing lists (e.g., HCI organizations, the Georgia Clinical and Translational Science Group, and behavioral healthcare organizations such as ABCT, ADAA, APA, IOCDF, and ISTSS).
  • Organizers will publicize workshop at NSF’s Smart and Connected Health meet-up in January in Washington, DC.
  • The materials presented in the position papers should not be published or under submission elsewhere. All submissions will be reviewed by the Program Committee and external experts to reach a decision on acceptance. Submissions must adhere to the double-column ACM format using SIGCHI template. Proceeding templates must be used for preparing the submissions (Word and LaTeX templates are available at (https://www.acm.org/publications/proceedings-template). Please follow the instructions available at https://pervasivehealth.org/authors-kit/.

The contributions should be submitted to Confy+:

Submit here

Selecting Participants:

  • Organizers will select 6 representatives from 6 different teams at various stages of project development.
  • Preference will be given to projects with the most promise to improve the future of work in behavioral healthcare.
  • No preference will be given to any specific domain of work in behavioral healthcare.
  • Review of submissions will be conducted solely by a program committee to ensure a rigorous peer-review process.


Submission deadline
3 August 2020
Notification deadline
21 August 2020
Camera-ready deadline
21 September 2020

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