Advancing the Regulation of Digital Mental Health

Access to mental health and substance use treatment services is a challenge worldwide. The use of digital tools has great potential to address service access challenges. But these digital tools and services are coming onto the market in an unregulated environment with no reliable information about efficacy, safety or issues related to privacy and data security. Thus, it is difficult for potential users, especially clinicians, healthcare organizations, health systems, and community agencies to adopt and use such tools with confidence.

Recognizing the potential value of regulation in this field, the McConnell Foundation funded this project through HRI.

Two Canadian National Roundtable meetings were held virtually to discuss how to improve digital mental health services and apps. A total of 90 invited participants engaged in the roundtables, including healthcare professionals, representatives from government, not-for-profits and companies in digital mental health, people with lived and living experience and advocates for mental health in Canada. The group identified areas that need policy improvements, and articulated strategies to improve the engagement of stakeholders.


Report: Canadian National Roundtable Discussions to Advance Regulation of Digital Mental Health


The McConnell Foundation

Research Team

Yuri Quintana, PhD (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, Harvard University, HRI); Farooq Naeem, MD (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health); Mary Jane Dykeman, JD (INQ Law); Wael Hassan, PhD (KI Design); Nelson Shen, PhD (CIHR Health System Impact Fellow and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health).