Manchester Medical Society

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Technology and mental health – a force for good or harm?

  • Date: Wednesday 29th April 2020 from 2.00-5.00 pm (Coffee & Registration from 1.30 pm)
  • Venue: Manchester Dental Education Centre (MANDEC), Higher Cambridge Street, Manchester, M15 6FH
  • Members from £0.00
  • Non Members £25-60

In light of the covid-19 coronavirus outbreak this meeting has now been cancelled. We hope to re-arrange it in the future.

Coffee and Registration

2.00 pm
Dr Richard Graham (Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist; Clinical Lead for Good Thinking: London’s Digital Mental Well-being Service)
“Addiction or Entrepeneur? The role of digital literacy in clinical practice”


The recent Ofcom Children’s Media Literacy Report 2019 confirmed what has been known in many schools and homes for some time: young people (and their families) are engaged creatively in their use of digital media, with aspirations to become creators, e-gamers, or even the CEO of a start-up company.

Assessment of the potential harms of digital media on the lives and development of young people, must now be considered in the wider context of building digital skills and achievements that could improve their life chances.

This presentation reviews the concept of technology addiction and the impact of online harms as seen in clinical settings, illustrated by the discussion of case material. It will be argued that media and digital literacy are now essential to clinical practice, and should be considered a mandatory element of any training.

Learning objectives:

  1. To understand the concepts of media and digital literacy, and its value to practising clinicians.
  2. To understand clinical diagnoses such as Gaming Disorder, and how online risks may become harms.
  3. To consider how clinicians can engage with the digital lives of their users, to improve engagement and outcomes.

2.45 pm
Daria Kuss (member of the International Gaming Research Unit and the Cyberpsychology Group)
Theme: to include an adult perspective on gaming, addiction and solutions

3.30 pm
Coffee – Viewing & Judging of Research & Audit Posters (click for details of how to submit an entry)

4.00 pm
Professor Sally Merry (Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, the Cure Kids Duke Family Chair in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and the Head of Department of Psychological Medicine at the School of Medicine, University of Auckland)
“Technology to support mental health in young people: the promise and the challenge”


In this session Professor Merry will outline the following key issues with technology interventions for mental health difficulties in young people:

  1. The evidence for efficacy
  2. Challenges to widescale implementation
  3. Potential for harm

4.50 pm