Gamifying Mental Health: Leveraging Technology to Deliver Therapy At Scale

Acacia Parks, Ph.D. ’03, chief science officer of Happify Health, started her career in positive psychology testing self-help books for her thesis at Reed. When Acacia discovered that 1 in 5 people have a mental illness but only ⅔ of these people receive treatment, she began to research how mass-adopted technology can address the issues of cost, stigma, and access associated in healthcare. In this talk, Dr. Parks will discuss how digital therapeutics are being used to improve wellbeing at schools, in workplaces, and in the general public and what trends she sees in chronic disease progression stemming from increased mental health duress. The format will be a 40-min interview followed by 20-min Q&A, using Zoom. Interviewer: Melissa Osborne ’13, president of the Alumni Board.

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Speaker’s bio: 

As chief science officer at Happify Health, Acacia Parks ’03 conducts research on digital methods for managing and treating depression and anxiety, as well as chronic health conditions. Her passion lies at the intersection of research and regulatory strategy for digital therapeutics. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Reed College, and her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, where her graduate research helped build the foundation for research on bringing mental health interventions to the general public. Prior to joining Happify Health, Acacia was an Associate Professor of Psychology at Hiram College.

Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 5:30pm to 6:30pm

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