A group of professionals working around a table. A group of professionals working around a table.

The Global Center for AI in Mental Health

The University at Albany, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University and U.N. Health Innovation Exchange (HIEx) propose establishing the Global Center for AI in Mental Health.

Deploying context-aware AI solutions to address the mental health challenges of 1 million individuals in underserved communities across 20 countries by 2030 

The Center will use AI and deep learning technology to identify social determinants of health and related risk and protective factors, better understand the biological mechanisms behind mental health disorders, identify differences across the life course and develop strategies to help fill critical mental health care gaps globally.  

AI tools will enable early detection of mental health conditions, track patients’ progress, and monitor them after medical intervention, alleviating shortages of in-person professional care where resources are currently scarce.

The Center will leverage UAlbany’s AI assets and infrastructure as well as its expertise in public health, psychology, social welfare, community-engaged and participatory research, engineering and nanotechnology, and SUNY Downstate’s clinical and translational research expertise and diverse and underserved patient population.

The Center will also seek collaborations with experts, community organizations and stakeholders worldwide. View a brochure about the Center.

Thank you to everyone who attended our two September workshops! View photos from the Bridging Mental Health and AI for Global Impact workshop.

Our Center's Mission & Vision

Mission: Pioneering innovative AI solutions to the pressing mental health epidemic via an interdisciplinary, cross-sector approach, with a focus on critically underserved communities worldwide.

Vision: Establishing the first global laboratory of its kind to advance mental health care among underserved communities worldwide. More than just a technology lab, this is a powerful collaboration among leaders in mental health, health equity, AI, and community engagement. The Center will serve as a nexus, bringing community organizations, industry leaders, health researchers, and community members into one collaborative space that aims to ensure equitable, globally beneficial solutions in this emerging and rapidly changing field.


Three Pillars of Our Center

1. Develop AI-driven Solutions for Mental Health Challenges

  • Portable Diagnostic Tools: Ready to use wherever needed

  • Cultural Sensitivity: Tailoring tools to serve diverse communities, locally and globally

  • Remote Diagnosis: Harnessing telehealth technologies for broader reach

2. Foster Community and Industry Partnerships

  • Community Ties: Connecting with community-based organizations (CBOs) and grassroots non-profit organizations

  • Policy Outreach: Engaging New York State and federal policymakers

  • Industry Synergy: Collaborating on app development utilizing AI

3. Equip the Workforce for the AI Era

  • Workforce Development: Preparing mental health professionals to proficiently use AI

  • Digital Twins: Harnessing the power of AI to democratize mental health training for all


Four-Pronged Approach

  1. Education and Outreach: Advocating for leveraging AI as a tool for increased mental health screening and implementing evidence-based interventions for prevention, treatment, and reducing stigma

  2. Identifying Risk Factors and Opportunities: Developing AI tools to recognize behavioral patterns in individuals and communities for early detection and care

  3. Intervention and Treatments: Training AI to recommend interventions, monitor patient progress, and customize tech for deployment globally

  4. Long-Term, Post-Treatment Monitoring: Using AI for evaluation analysis, advancing our knowledge of best practices for patient care and monitoring



Five Success Metrics

  1. Global Reach: Solutions in multiple countries and cultures

  2. Equitable Impact: Positive outcomes in underserved communities

  3. Accelerated Access: Faster delivery to those in need

  4. Feedback Loop: Continuous improvement through community input

  5. Economically Scalable: Solutions for wide-scale, sustainable


ai plus University at Albany
Health Innovation Exchange
Downstate Health Sciences University

For more information about partnering in this work, please contact:

Thenkurussi “Kesh” Kesavadas  
Vice President for Research and Economic Development 
University at Albany, SUNY
[email protected]

David Christini
Senior Vice President for Research   
SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University  
[email protected]


Pradeep Kakkittil 
Founder and CEO
Health Innovation and Investment Exchange (HIEx)
[email protected]