APA’s Monitor reports that after 13 years as director of the American National Institute of Mental Health, Thomas Insel is joining Verily, the Life Sciences Division of Google’s new Alphabet Inc. empire.
His vision for Google’s role in reforming mental health care creates an unprecedented intersection between the fraught social politics of public surveillance, ‘philanthrocapitalism‘ and the psychological industries:
“Google’s strength in data analytics could be leveraged to identify patterns such as changes in cognition and behavior that are difficult to detect in the early stages of psychosis, he says. In many cases, people who were eventually diagnosed with the disease went undiagnosed for years because their initial symptoms masked themselves as traditional adolescent behavior, such as isolation from others and difficulty with academics, Insel says. Smartphones, for example, could collect speech data that would be plugged into an algorithm that detects disorganized speech patterns indicative of psychosis.”
Read the full article here. Conversation on the topic welcome and encouraged.
Registration is now open for the “Mental Health Care in America: Past, Present and Future” conference being hosted by David Baker at the Archives of the History of American Psychology.
The past century has witnessed substantial changes in mental health care in America. In 1909 Clifford Beers founded the National Committee for Mental Hygiene and Sigmund Freud made his only trip to America, fostering the spread of psychoanalysis. Forty years later, in 1949, the National Institute of Mental Health was established. In the span of 100 years mental health in America has unfolded against a backdrop of social, political, and economic changes. This two-day conference brings together leading experts in the field to examine where we have been, where we are, and to speculate on where we are going.
The program includes invited talks by Ludy Benjamin and Gerald Grob. In a recent email sent to the members of the Society for the History of Psychology, Baker (pictured right) explained the details as follows:
The event will take place on Thursday, April 23 and Friday, April 24, 2009 at the University of Akron. We have assembled an outstanding group of scholars and leaders in mental health policy, practice, advocacy, and history. This conference is made possible with the generous support of the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation.
Those interested in attending can register here.