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Persuasive Technology 2021 Workshop: Designing Persuasive Technology to Support Mental Health

Nilufar Baghaei, School of Natural and Computational Sciences, Massey University, Auckland 0735, New Zealand

Hai-Ning Liang, Dept of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China

Sylvia Hach, School of Community Health, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

Arindam Dey, School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Queensland, Australia

Key Dates:

Submission: 7 March 2021

Notification: 25 March 2021

Camera-Ready version: 2 April 2021

Submission: LNCS format, 5+ pages

Accepted papers will be published on CEUR Workshop Proceedings.

Email your submission(s) to

Call for Participation:

Mental health conditions pose a major challenge to healthcare providers and society at large. The World Health Organization predicts that by the year 2030, mental health conditions will be the leading burden of disease globally. Mental health services across all countries are struggling to meet the needs of users and arguably fail to reach the majority of those in need. Preventative and early intervention, support and education can have significant positive impact on a person’s prognosis.


Over the last few years there has been a growing interest in technologies for educating and supporting mental health, both from a maintenance strategy and intervention tool. Advances in technology have created opportunities for collaboration between Technology and Health researchers, and practitioners to design and develop tools to train and support healthcare providers, connect users with healthcare providers, provide access to affordable self-assessment and to provide treatment or preventative strategies.


The use of technology can provide a greater degree of anonymity than what has been possible in existing health systems, which mostly focus on dealing with diagnosable cases. Technology is often considered an advantage for offering new opportunities in reaching individuals who might not otherwise seek help due to fear of being stigmatised. The use of persuasive technology in mental health has recently attracted a lot of attention. Persuasive technology is defined as technology aimed at changing attitudes or behaviours of the users through persuasion and social influence. It can potentially create new effective care models in the wider context of persuading positive lifestyle changes, and prevention of, education about and support for individuals affected by mental health conditions especially sleep disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, mood disorders, addictive behaviours and substance abuse disorders.


We successfully run a workshop at the IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR) 2019 conference on AR/VR/MR and Mental Health as well as a Frontiers in VR special issue on the same topic. The workshop proposed here will be built on top of that. Our goal is to provide an opportunity for technology and health researchers to submit their original contributions on the design, implementation and evaluation of new mental health technologies aiding key areas including:


1. persuasion

2. education

3. self-assessment

4. intervention


We are interested in theoretically, empirically, and/or methodologically oriented contributions focused on supporting and providing education for mental health delivered through novel designs and evaluations of mobile apps, AR/VR/MR apps, games, social media apps, and Internet of Things. Systematic review articles are considered for review as well.


In addition to the potential benefits, we would also like to receive contributions on the risks and challenges, with particular attention to the ethical use of such technologies for addressing mental health related matters.

Paper format:

LNCS format, 5+ pages.


The authors of successful papers will be requested to give a presentation via Zoom. The link will be provided well before the workshop. 


Potential PC members:

•        Dr Antje Gentsch, German Psychoanalytic Society, Germany

•        Dr Daniel Playne, Massey University, New Zealand

•        Dr Martin Johnson, Massey University, New Zealand

•        Dr Lundy Lewis, University of Southern New Hampshire, USA

•        Dr Sylvia Hach, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand

•        Dr Farhad Mehdipour, Otago Polytechnic Auckland Campus, New Zealand

•        Dr Hamid Sharifzadeh, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand

•        Dr Khalad Hasan, University of British Columbia, Canada

•        Dr Lehan Stemmet, Auckland Institute of Studies, New Zealand

•        Prof Mark Billinghurst, University of South Australia, Australia

•        Dr Don McMahon, Washington State University

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