About the Center for Digital Mental Health
Galvanized by the potential for new technologies to address the current crisis in mental health care, Sabine Wilhelm, PhD, founded and directs the Center for Digital Mental Health, which was established in 2019 as a think tank in the Department of Psychiatry and now has over 90 members.
The Center’s mission is to scale evidence-based technology solutions to prevent, assess, and treat mental illness and promote mental health. The Center will develop and test technologies to prevent, assess and treat mental illness; collaborate with individuals with lived experience and multidisciplinary stakeholders; personalize mental health care to the needs of individuals and organizations; and implement evidence-based scalable health solutions to expand the mental health care system.
Our team has developed and tested a range of novel, effective, technology-enabled solutions to address the mental health provider shortage, including smartphone-based assessments and treatments and virtual reality tools. Center members are leaders in provider education and training; they developed several digital training tools for providers. They have been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), industry, and private foundations.
Mass General researchers, led by Chief of Psychology Sabine Wilhelm, PhD, have been at the forefront of developing innovative digital treatments, including 12-week smartphone applications delivering cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). As director of the Center for OCD and Related Disorders at Mass General, Dr. Wilhelm led a groundbreaking small open trial and found that a smartphone CBT app developed by her team reduced the severity of body dysmorphic disorder by half, and 90% of patients were considered to be treatment responders–similar to or even better than in-person clinic results. These promising results have now been replicated in a well-powered, randomized control trial.