Mental and Emotional health difficulties are a leading cause of disability worldwide. Interestingly, studies have consistently shown that interpersonal relationships and social support can play a vital role in emotional health and wellbeing. Technologies that effectively support emotional wellbeing are likely to offer significant benefits, both for individuals and for society as a whole. This talk will discuss the potential of social media such as social networking sites, online games and mobile phone applications to provide social support for the emotional wellbeing of users, as well as the design constraints inherent in doing so. The EPSRC-funded project called "Exploring social Networks to Augment Cognitive behaviour Therapy (ENACT)," which is being lead by the Lincoln Social Computing research centre, will be discussed as an example of work in this field.
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