@Curt White for joining us today!
Okay, let's get started! A big HELLO to
Curt, why don't you get us started by telling us a little about yourself!
I build and research wearable devices related to mental health at CMI's MATTER Lab
link here: https://matter.childmind.org/
I'm also a long time mental health activist. I've been heavily involved with the Icarus Project for many years: https://matter.childmind.org/
should the 2nd link be different?
That's really awesome. Super important work.
http://nycicarus.org/ here you go
THE ICARUS PROJECT
The Icarus Project is a support network and education project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness. We advance social justice by fostering mutual aid practices that reconnect healing and collective liberation. We transform ourselves through transforming the world around us.
Read this on The Icarus Project
The "Tingle" gesture recognition device at CMI is what I've spent the vast majority of my time on
Could you tell us a little more about that project?
yeah, and that is a good segway into a more general conversation about devices and mental health
Mental health is extremely difficult to engage with at a device level - at least in terms of interventions
one of the more insidious things about mental illness is its ability to undermine problem solving
Yeah - I wasn't too surprised when ginger.io had to pivot - but I was very excited about their earlier model..
in other words, if I build some kind of device to combat depression, a person experiencing depression may be unable to use it
so before even building anything, I looked long and hard for problems that I could physically engage with
Quick Q, do you have a presence in the UK?
shouldn't it be the other way around? looking for problems that your device solves seems backwards
Trichotillomania is a compulsive disorder in which individuals pull their hair out
crucially, the initiation of this behavior is unconscious
ꝺeshipu - not quite - it's usually a good idea to look for problems that a "class" of devices could solve, before you start actually customizing them for it.
so that leaves us with an information deficit problem, if we can make individual aware that they are initiating that behavior (pulling out their hair) we can help them stop doing it
so we have a physical gesture and lack of information
this is a really promising situation from a device perspective - much more approachable than depression and the like
What the "Tingle" device that I'm working does is detect a gesture (raising your hand to your head) associated with a problem behavior (pulling out hair) and provide feedback (vibration motor) to alert them and make them more conscious of their actions (fill information deficit)
Finding the right problem is probably the most challenging step when it comes to devices and mental health
Anyway, I came up with all this on my own and then got hired to pursue...
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