AI for Healthy Minds and Healthy Brains

Event date:  14 October 2021

This collaborative webinar, part of ITU's AI for Good Global Summit, addressed key global challenges in mental health and potential solutions offered by AI. The event was organised by Monash Data Futures Institute in partnership with ITU.

Watch the recording on YouTube

Global mental health is recognised as a key factor in achieving a sustainable future (SDG3 Ensure healthy lives and wellbeing for all at all ages). Mental, neurological and substance-use disorders are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with an estimated loss of US$16 trillion to the global economy by 2030, according to the World Economic Forum. Today, an estimated 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression alone, while suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people. Most mental illnesses are treatable.

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened mental wellbeing challenges, with mental healthcare and support services across the globe experiencing increased demand. In Australia, the increased pressure on mental health infrastructure and programs as a result of COVID are demonstrating inadequacies across the system, leading to the need to implement better use of technology in diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies have extraordinary potential to achieve innovative solutions in mental healthcare.

Monash University’s Data Futures Institute presented a panel of experts across the disciplines of Public Health, Mental Health, Neurology, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, and Medical Imaging, discussing the latest research on AI for early diagnosis, prevention and better treatment of mental and neurological disorders. This event also featured an insightful presentation on one of Australia’s flagship projects in AI for public mental health, “The National Ambulance Surveillance System – A unique dataset to inform suicide and self-harm prevention”. An interactive discussion and Q&A delved into ethical and socio-economic challenges, patient consent and consumer representation in mental healthcare.

Monash Data Futures Institute is the gold sponsor for the ITU AI for Good 2021 summit.


Debbie Scott
Strategic Lead of The National Addiction and Mental Health Surveillance Unit
Turning Point

Meng Law
Professor of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Monash University

Patrick Kwan
Professor of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Monash University

Wray Buntine
Professor, Director of Machine Learning Group, Faculty of Information Technology
Monash University


Jane Fisher AO
Finkel Professor of Global Health and Director of Global and Women’s Health
Monash University