3:10 - 3:30 pmSaturday, September 17
LK 120
Design thinking tools to support behavioral therapy for mental illnesses
LK 120
Design thinking tools to support behavioral therapy for mental illnesses
ePatient Scholar
The process of recovering from a mental illness and succeeding with behavioral therapy requires a patient to make major life changes. It is a complex process of personal health innovation. But this innovation... Read more

Description

The process of recovering from a mental illness and succeeding with behavioral therapy requires a patient to make major life changes. It is a complex process of personal health innovation. But this innovation needs to happen at a time when the patient is experiencing significant distress and when their resources–emotional, human and financial–may already be completely drained. On top of all of that, the patient is responsible for implementing the changes necessary for treatment to be effective. Although research demonstrates the effectiveness of behavioral therapy, dropout rates from therapy are high. People are suffering not because we don’t have an effective treatment, but because we lack supports for implementing the treatment.

Can we take the same design thinking, change management, and innovation tools that help businesses navigate complex changes by designing for human needs, and apply those tools to supporting people successfully through behavioral therapy to overcome mental illnesses?

In this presentation, Mark shares his own experience of being diagnosed with several mental illnesses and how design thinking tools and concepts supported the changes he had to make to succeed with therapy and get his life back.

Attendees at this presentation will gain an understanding of:

  • Specific challenges involved in implementing behavioral therapy, drawn from research studies and Mark’s own experience.
  • The analogs between human-centered design innovation for business and the personal health innovations involved in implementing behavioral changes for recovery from complex, comorbid mental illnesses.
  • Examples of design thinking exercises Mark has used with companies as a consultant and also used to support himself through therapy on the journey to overcoming OCD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, addiction and depression.
  • How people around the world are adapting these tools to help them with maintaining and improving their mental health.
  • How health care practitioners and patients can utilize design thinking tools in their own practices to support treatment implementation and behavioral change.

An overarching theme throughout this presentation will be the need for all of us to engage in a more open dialogue around mental health and effective methods for treatment implementation. While the business world benefits from an ongoing, open, vibrant dialogue on how to innovate and navigate complex changes, there is no similar dialogue in mental health care. Through this presentation, with a mix of raw honesty, research, and experience, backed up by his mental health cartoons on the presentation slides, Mark hopes to spark meaningful dialogue amongst attendees. Not only can they help their peers or their patients with the design thinking tools explained in the presentation, but they might just help themselves, because every single attendee is guaranteed to have mental health, and nobody’s will be perfect.

I struggled with OCD, depression and related anxiety and addiction issues for more than a decade before finding my way to recovery. I now focus on helping others find their own path to mental health and wellbeing. I co-founded the Everybody has a Brain online mental health community, which uses art, video, and personal stories to promote a proactive, preventative approach to maintaining and improving mental health. I also write books, create how-to videos that support people through the process of recovery, and facilitate mindfulness training workshops. I have worked as a design thinking workshop facilitator for over five years and much of the tools I develop for making complex health changes are adapted from the same tools that help organizations make complex changes.  

I’m passionate about shifting the prevailing view of mental health care from an illness-first approach, to a health-first approach that recognizes everybody has a brain, so everybody has varying levels of mental health that are affected by the decisions we make every day.

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