Quantum Mental Health
A division of Quantum Data Technologies with the objective of facilitating the integration of advanced technology in the mental health field.
We’re going way beyond chatbots.
QDT’s talent in AI, cognitive computing, and professional health services is driving the commercialization of an artificial, intelligent, computer-generated avatar for mental health.
“Hi, my name is Val, and I am an AI therapist in training…”
Why an AI therapist?
The goal is to produce a scalable, accessible solution capable of addressing many of the gaps in service facing both patients and professionals in the mental health field.
Long wait times
Low-cost counselling through non-profit organizations and free government services experience very high demand. Being on a waiting list for six months, or even up to 18 months is not unheard of.
High overall cost of care
Counselling is often unaffordable for many in the middle and lower middle classes, and governments struggle to address the gap; leaving a large portion of the population unable to access care.
Public and non-profit counsellors have heavy caseloads. Val can support counsellors in a manner of ways and by doing a variety of tasks, from correspondence to record keeping…and the list goes on.
Ease of diagnosis
With Val’s thorough knowledge of the DSM-5 and the ability to pick up on patterns in client conversations, she will have the ability to alert the therapist or clients to potential diagnoses; saving time, and supporting or augmenting professional services.
There are both rural and urban geographical limitations. Small towns can often only sustain basic services, if any at all, and urban centres battle with transit issues like duration or travelling with children.
Insufficient Public Sector resources
Even in Canada, large government budgets don’t come close to meeting service demand. Only 10-35% of Americans and Canadians access mental health services, while it’s estimated that 33% require services.
What makes Val different?
Domain expertise, commitment and impact.
QMH brings deep domain expertise from across the mental health field with a commitment to both professional counselling ethics, and addressing service delivery to marginalized and non-western populations.
With the combination of both the QDT and QMH teams to contextualize AI training and development, Val takes us way beyond chatbots, and represents an ambitious intersection of health and technology.
Powered by Watson
Cognitive Computing enables people to realize a profoundly new kind of value, finding contextual answers and insights locked away in volumes of data. Watson, and it’s cognitive abilities, mirror some of the key cognitive elements of human expertise.
We’re using IBM Watson’s built-in facial recognition system, in combination with those listed below, to develop Val’s ability to recognize and respond to physical and emotional ques in real-time. In principle, this imbues the system with the capacity to notice latent emotions, as therapists do.
For our developers at QDT, utilizing ML in the domain of mental health represents an exciting new challenge in Training, Scoring and finding patterns of meaning in data; leveraging our experience building advanced data models alongside our extensive Psychology Team.
Text to Speech
The Text to Speech service processes text and natural language to generate synthesized audio output complete with appropriate cadence and intonation; instilling Val with more human-like qualities and enabling multiple languages.
Speech to Text
The Speech to Text service converts the human voice into the written word. It utilizes machine intelligence to combine information about grammar and language structure with knowledge of the composition of the audio signal to generate an accurate transcription.
The Personality Insights is based on the psychology of language in combination with data analytics algorithms. It analyzes content and returns a personality profile for the author, inferring personality characteristics based on three models: 1) The Big Five personality characteristics; 2) Needs; 3) Values.
People show various tones, such as joy, sadness, anger, and agreeableness, in daily communications. Tone Analyzer leverages cognitive linguistic analysis to identify a variety of tones, social propensities, and language styles that impact the effectiveness of communication in different contexts.
Natural Language Understanding uses natural language processing to analyze semantic features of any text to extract meta-data from content such as concepts, entities, keywords, categories, sentiment, emotion, relations, semantic roles.
(in alphabetical order)
Dr. Bart Begalka
Dr. Bart Begalka is on the faculty of the Graduate Program in Counselling Psychology at Trinity Western University, where his primary responsibility is in the coordination of clinical training, supervising student counsellors and supervising supervisors. His clinical expertise is focused in the areas of child therapy, trauma therapy, multicultural counselling, children of separation/divorce, and international counselling. He has been is registered with the British Columbia Association for Clinical Counsellors for the past 30 years and has a total of 40 years’ experience working in counselling and related fields.
Dr. Begalka’s career has been noted for program development in the field of counselling. In the 1990’s he was a pioneer in the development of counselling services for children of separation/divorce in Vancouver and single parent low-income families, and over the past ten years has been instrumental in the development of counsellor training programs in Indonesia and India. He has also trained counsellors in China, Bulgaria and Malta.
Dr. Blythe Shepard, Ph.D.
Blythe Shepard, Ph.D. is of British and Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) ancestry and a professor in Counselling Psychology in the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge. She has extensive research and elementary teaching experience in rural settings. Her research and teaching foci includes: life-career development and counselling; counsellor training and identity; clinical supervision; and child and adolescent mental health.
Dr. Shepard served on the Board and Executive of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) for 10 years and is now President Emerita. She co-chaired the National Symposium on Counsellor Mobility for two years (2009-2011) and sits on several committees involved in regulation of counselling therapists in British Columbia and Alberta. She served on the BC Task Group responsible for the creation and revision of entry to practice competencies for counsellors. She chairs the CCPA Clinical Supervision Competency Framework project and is a recent recipient of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association’s (CCPA) Professional Contribution Award in recognition of outstanding promotion of the counselling profession in Canada. Dr. Shepard is the treasurer of the International Association for Counselling (IAC) and chairs the IAC Indigenous Roundtable. She provides counselling services to rural youth and women and offers supervision to clinical supervisors in Canada.
Dr. José F Domene
José F Domene, PhD, R.Psych, is a Professor the counselling psychology specialization area within the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary, where he teaches graduate courses in ethics and professional issues in applied psychology, and career development/career counselling. He also serves as the Director of Internships and Practica for the counselling psychology program. Dr. Domene’s areas of research include (a) relational contexts of career development, particularly during the transition to work, (b) intersections of technology and counselling/career development, and (c) professional issues in counselling and counselling psychology in Canada. He has published over 50 journal articles and book chapters on these topics, and presented over a 150 papers and posters at scholarly conferences.
Dr. Domene is a registered psychologist with over 15 years of experience working with adolescents and emerging adults presenting with a range of complex academic, career, and mental health difficulties. Dr. Domene has also served as an Associate Editor/Editor in Chief for three scholarly journals and held leadership positions with the Asia Pacific Career Development Association (Board), Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (Counsellor Educators Chapter), and the Canadian Psychological Association (Counselling Psychology Section.
Naoise Kelly, MA
Naoise Kelly is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Association for Counselling (IAC). He previously served on the IAC Executive Council, and as National Director of the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) for seven years. Naoise is a board member of Northern Ireland’s Independent Counselling Service (Contact NI). He holds an M.Sc. in Mental Health (Hons – 1st) from Trinity College Dublin (TCD), and a Psychology degree (Hons) also from TCD. His master thesis focused on counselling’s contribution to suicide prevention. Naoise has over 20 years of leadership and senior management experience in the mental health and non-profit sectors, both in Ireland and internationally, including seven years’ service as manager of the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, Ireland. He has extensive strategic planning, organisational development, and governance experience.
Valentina Chichiniova has a Masters in Counselling Psychology. She is a Counselling Practicum Supervisor at Trinity Western University and has a private practice in Vancouver. Valentina is a Certified EMDR therapist and had specialised in working with complex trauma.
Valentina sits on the Executive Council of the International Association for Counselling (IAC) as the North American representative and is a group facilitator of the IAC’s Students’ Round Table. Valentina is a member of a number of professional associations including the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), the BC Association for Clinical Counsellors (BCACC), EMDRIA and EMDR Canada, and the IAC. Valentina’s research interests are in the area of trauma and dissociation and she had presented at a number of national and international conferences. She had also co-facilitated trauma related workshops for counselling professionals.