Date: Thursday, November 23, 2023
Time: 08.30 - 17.00

Location: The Pavilion, University of Limerick (North Campus), V94 F7XW

Register your interest here

This event, supported through the Health Research Board Conference and Events funding scheme, will bring together key stakeholders across research, policy, and practise in the area of Digital Mental Health.

University of Limerick is proud to host international speakers Professor Heleen Riper, University of Amsterdam, and Gregor Henderson, NHS Digital Mental Health, as well as our colleagues in HSE policy implementation nationally

Scheduled strategic discussions will also leverage the expertise of contributors to inform the upcoming Digital Mental Health Strategy to 2030.

We are honoured to host innovative leaders in this field and to directly inform policy in this area. The event aims to position UL as a centre of excellence in this burgeoning area of research and practise.

Speaker Information:

Professor Heleen Riper, University of Amsterdam
Heleen Riper is professor of e-mental health at the VU University Amsterdam at the Department of Clinical, Neuro- & Developmental Psychology, honorary professor at the Telepsychiatric Center and Institute of Clinical Research at the University of Southern Denmark and senior researcher at GGZinGeest. Heleen’s national and European research is focused on the development, (cost-)effectiveness and implementation of innovative new media interventions for common mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and problem drinking. This is expressed in over 40 large national and European research projects and over 100 national and international (co)authored publications on e-mental health in peer reviewed journals. She is an invited speaker on these topics on (inter)national scientific and professional conferences. She is a board member and past president of the International Society (ISRII) for Research on Internet Interventions, founder and chair of the Dutch ISRII (NSRII) and co-founded the European Society for Research on Internet Interventions (ESRII). Heleen Riper has worked for a decade at the Trimbos Institute (2000 – 2010) as Director of the Program of Early Intervention and the Innovation Centre of Mental Health and Technology. She also chaired the Centre of Prevention. Before this period she has worked at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Limerick. 

Professor Maurice Mulvenna, Ulster University 
Professor Maurice Mulvenna, PhD., is a researcher in computer science and artificial intelligence at Ulster University, known for his contribution to interdisciplinary research in health, mental health and wellbeing with colleagues in psychology, business, nursing, and healthcare. He is principal investigator or investigator on more than 120 research projects, many of which relate to the development of health and wellbeing interventions, most recently the ChatPal project, designing and trialling a chatbot to support mental health and wellbeing. He also led the successful design, development and launch of the Our Generation children and young people’s resilience app, and the InspireD reminiscence app for people living with dementia. Maurice is a past winner of the European €200K IST Grand Prize and has won the Societal Impact Award at the UK National KTP Best of the Best Awards 2020. He also won the Inaugural Award for Industry-Academic Collaboration from the Centre for Behaviour Change Conference on Behaviour Change for Health: Digital and Other Innovative Methods, in 2019 with colleagues.

Joseph Duffy, CEO Jigsaw 
At Jigsaw, Joseph leads the Senior Management Team and works closely with our Board and youth advocates to evolve and implement the strategic plan for Jigsaw, Together 2022-2025, seeking to achieve better mental health outcomes for young people. 

Dr Joseph Duffy has been the CEO of Jigsaw – The National Centre for Youth Mental Health since 2016. He has over 25 years’ experience as qualified Clinical Psychologist and has worked in the area of mental health managing and delivering services across all age groups and within institutional and community settings. He joined Jigsaw in 2011 as Director of Clinical Services and held the post of Chief Operating Officer from 2012 to 2016. 

Joseph holds a BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology from the University of Ulster (UU), a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Trinity College Dublin (TCD), a Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics (TCD) and an MBA in Health Services Management from the Smurfit Graduate Business School, University College Dublin (UCD). He is a Fellow of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI). He is a Board member of the Mental Health Commission and Mental Health Reform, a member of the Executive of the International Association for Youth Mental Health (IAYMH). He sits on the National Implementation Monitoring Committee (NIMC) for Sharing the Vision – A Mental Health Policy for Everybody the Irish Government’s policy framework for the continued development and enhancement of mental health services in Ireland from 2020 to 2030. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Irish Probation Journal.



Registration: 8:30am – 9:00am

Conference Welcome: Professor Norelee Kennedy, VP Research UL (9:00-9:15)

Digital Mental Health in Ireland: The policy landscape (9:15 – 9:30)

Derek Chambers, Policy Implementation Lead, National Mental Health Operations, HSE

Dr Ruth Melia

Keynote: Prof Heleen Riper, “Value-driven Digital Mental Health” (9:30-9:50)

Prof Heleen Riper, Full Professor eMental-Health/ Clinical Psychology VU & Amsterdam University


Advances in Digital Mental Health Research

Professor Maurice Mulvenna, University of Ulster, Atlantic Futures Lead (10-10:15)

Professor David Coyle, School of Computer Science, University College Dublin (10:15-10:30)

Dr Ruth Melia, Psychology Department, University of Limerick (10:30-10:45)

Professor Gary O’Donohoe, School of Psychology, University of Galway (10:45-11:00) 

Prof Donal Fortune

 Poster Presentations at Coffee Break (11:00-11:30)


Advances in Mental Health Service Delivery: 

Ian Power, CEO Spunout & 50808, Digital Mental Health in a Crisis Service (11:30-11:45) 

Joseph Duffy, CEO Jigsaw (11:45-12:00)

Christina Seery and members of the ADHD National Clinical Programme Team (12:00-12:15)

Margaret Keane and Lorraine Naughton of the Mid-West ARIES Team (12:15-12:30)


Panel Discussion (12:30-1:00)

Realising the Vision: key barriers and enablers

Prof Patrick Ryan

Lunch (1:00 – 2:00)


Gregor Henderson, NHS Digital Mental Health (2:00-2:20)

Mental Health Reform

Towards a Strategy for Digital Mental Health 2030 (2:30 – 3:30)

Key stakeholders drawn from research, clinical practice, advocacy, and policy invited to contribute through focused discussions to the development of the national digital mental health strategy 2030.

Dr Ruth Melia

HRB Towards a National Mental Health Research Strategy (3:30-3:40)

Camille Boostrom (HRB) 

Presentation of the Digital Mental Health Innovator Awards (3:40-4:00) 

Conference Committee 

Closing Comments: (4:15-4:30)