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Digital Innovation for Adolescent Mental Health

Fondation Botnar

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Fondation Botnar will host an event with leading global innovators to share their experiences of harnessing digital innovations to improve adolescent mental health in the UK and abroad.


The Royal Institution, London


Vitol Foundation, Belgian Embassy to the United Kingdom

Further Information

Adolescence is a time of great potential. However, mental disorders in adolescence pose a growing and significant challenge. The advent of digital innovation can unlock new opportunities for early detection and treatment of mental illnesses, with the potential to expand access and vastly improve mental health outcomes for young people.

Fondation Botnar, the Vitol Foundation and the Belgian Embassy will host a dialogue event on Thursday, 24th October from 5:00pm – 7:30pm at The Royal Institution, London. The event brings together leading global innovators to share their experiences of harnessing digital innovations to improve adolescent mental health in the UK and abroad. An interactive panel discussion will also address some of the challenges that accompany progress – including the potential negative impacts of technologies.

The event has limited capacity. Please confirm your registration here if you would like to join.

Proud to be joined by…

Melissa Menke

Melissa is the Founder of Access Afya, an innovative healthcare company based in Kenya. Access Afya is setting the bar high for quality assured, patient centered care in some of Nairobi’s poorest communities. It combines health financing options, technology systems, customer care and rigorous process design to make the model sustainable and scalable. Melissa is a Forbes 400 Philanthropy Fellow and a Cartier Women’s Initiative Award Finalist. She has spoked globally about digital health innovation in low-resource settings from DigiMed in California to Digital Health Week in Singapore. She has served on the Board of the Young Women Social Entrepreneurs Nairobi, which holds events promoting women in business.

Alan Stein

Alan Stein is Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Oxford and Honorary professor in the School of Public health at the University of Witwatersrand. South Africa. He previously held joint Senior Research Fellowships at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge and was Professor of Child & Adolescent Mental Health at the Royal Free and University College Medical School and Tavistock Centre. His main area of research concerns the development of children and adolescents in the face of adversity. A key aspect of this work is to elucidate the mechanisms underlying child and adolescent development and to identify risk and protective processes. More recently this has involved the use of digital technology.

Dixon Chibanda

Dixon Chibanda is a psychiatrist and a researcher in the field of mental, neurological and substance use disorders. He is a professor at the university of Zimbabwe and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and is the current director of the African Mental Health Research Initiative. He is the founder of the Friendship Bench programme which has been introduced to a number of countries and he is co-founder of Inuka, a digital platform aimed at increasing access to mental health care.

Kerstyn Comley

Dr Kerstyn Comley is an education and health technologist, volunteer teacher and co-CEO of MeeTwo Education whose a multi-award winning app, MeeTwo, provides young people with safe immediate mental help. MeeTwo won this year’s Tech4Good awards for Connected Society and for the past two years MeeTwo has been named as one of the 100 most inspiring innovations in education in the world by With over twenty year experience in business, research & development, Kerstyn was named Rising Star in the Europe-wide Technology Playmaker awards 2018. In 2011, in response to a shortage in local secondary school places in east London Kerstyn led a project to open a new Free secondary school. She continues to support the school as both a volunteer and Chair of Governors.

Pattie Gonsalves

Pattie Gonsalves works in the areas of public engagement and digital interventions to improve adolescent and youth mental health. She is currently a Project Director at Sangath (India) with the PRIDE research programme, the largest adolescent mental health research programme ever undertaken in a developing country, where she leads the design and evaluation of digital mental health intervention for school-going adolescents in low resource settings. Pattie also leads It’s Ok To Talk (, a national anti-stigma campaign for young people’s mental health. As part of this initiative, Pattie currently leads a new Wellcome Trust funded project, “Mann Mela”, that is setting up awareness-building immersive media museums for youth mental health in five cities across India.

The Future Now.
For Young People

Fondation Botnar
St. Alban-Vorstadt 56
4052 Basel
+41 61 201 04 74