Spring School of Global Health

Challenges in AI and mobile health for leveraging access to care in mental health

Geneva, the 11th & 12th April 2024- 1 ECTS 




  • Dre Margot Morgiève (PhD, Researcher in social sciences of mental health and in digital mental health - CERMES3 INSERM Paris)
  • Pr Swann Pichon (PhD, Professor of psychology and digital health - HEdS HES-SO Geneva)
  • Dre Camille Piguet (MD-PhD, Médecin adjointe agrégée HUG - Dpt of Psychiatry, U. Geneva)
  • Pre Katarzyna Wac (PhD, Professor of computer science and digital health - Geneva School of Economics and Management, U. Geneva)


SSPH+ Courses | SSPH+ (ssphplus.ch)


The World Health Organization estimates that nearly one billion individuals grapple with a Mental Health disorder. Despite the substantial prevalence of mental health conditions, only a limited number of people worldwide have access to quality mental health services.

Among a plethora of digital tools developed, only a few have shown capacity in addressing mental health problems and in compensating some of the known global inequalities in access to mental health support. For instance, internet websites and mobile applications have the potential to provide wider access to mental health prevention and promotion, to online peer-support communities, to online therapies, texting interventions or to teleconsultation.

AI, including deep learning and large language models (LLMs), also offer promising pathways for increasing access to care in mental health. 2023 has seen a rapid acceleration of LLMs in their aptitude to answer complex questions, including medical questions. These capabilities attract speculations on the potential of LLMs to provide safe and evidence-based answers to the needs of the public and patients. These technologies also question their influence and place in the therapeutic alliance with healthcare professionals, and the involvement of patients in their design. At their present stage of development, important limitations remain which include safety, efficiency, access and data protection and because some of these technologies have also demonstrated their propensity to instigate harm and display biases related to gender, skin color, sexuality or age.

During this 2-day workshop, participants and experts will present their work and discuss the opportunities and challenges that digital innovations are facing to leverage access to care in mental health. A second objective of this workshop will be to conduct a collaborative ideathon project in groups to conceptualize one project idea for which they think that mobile health and/or AI may bring a significant value for ameliorating well-being and access to care in mental health.

Participants will be encouraged to anticipate the implications of the project in terms of cultural context, access, adhesion, ethics, data analytics and financing. This exercise will benefit from interactions with the speakers and the course instructors present during the workshop


We seek to cultivate a multidisciplinary approach, the course is therefore opened to a broad range of disciplines (i.e. health/medical, social humanities, IT/engineering, …) with an interest in digital technologies and mental health. The course is opened to persons with a master degree.


The course will take place in person (preferably) but an hybrid modality online is possible


1 ECTS (registration opened to graduates with a master's degree)


  • We will provide a Teams access to exchange information
  • We will provide general readings on the topic before the workshop


11th & 12th April 2024 (Geneva Faculty of Medicine, Rue Michel Servet 1. CH-1211 Geneva)

Experts Invited (confirmed)

  • Pr Neo Christopher Chung - Challenges of Large Language Models (LLMs) for Mental Health Counselling (PhD informatics – U. of Warsaw)
  • Dr François-Régis Chaumartin - Celeste, a mental health counselling mobile application based on LLMs (Founder & CEO of the startup Celeste, VP Semantic Data Science - Dassault Systems) 
  • Dr Sofian Berrouiguet - Mobile-health (mHealth) and artificial intelligence (AI) methods for suicide prevention (Md, Psychiatrist & PhD in informatics - U. Hospital Brest)
  • Pr Laura Ospina - Developing a Mental Health eClinic to Improve Access to and Quality of Mental Health Care for Young People (MD, PhD, Psychiatrist child adolescent & family - U. Javeriana)
  • Pr Sebastian Probst - Tissue Viability and Wound Care on Digital Age (Prof of Tissue Viability and Wound Care, Geneva school for health science & adjunct Prof U. Geneva Medical School)


  • CHF 350 for SSPH+ members, UNIGE or HES-SO members and partner institutions.
  • CHF 450 for externals
  • Coffees and a social event are offered to participants


10 to 20 participants