Dr. Jamie Chiu
Founder and Clinical Psychologist, The Brightly Project

Dr. Chiu was born in Hong Kong, but grew up in Ghana. When she was 14, she moved to Australia. She felt like she couldn’t fit in, and started to blame it on herself. She thought that if she were a different person, she’d be happier. But wanting to be someone else just kept her miserable. She felt isolated, and struggled with depression.

She felt she had to hide her struggles, because she wanted to be strong. Now, she is a big advocate of talking about struggles. She wants others to know that reaching out for help doesn’t make you weak, but that it’s a sign of strength and bravery.

She wants young people to grow up feeling confident in who they are, and hopeful for their bright futures. As a clinical psychologist, she’s worked with hundreds of at-risk teens struggling with depression. She spent her doctorate years researching youth depression, suicide, and the effectiveness of school-based mental health programs.

She’s been invited to share her work at TEDx in Hong Kong and Beijing. In 2016, she was honoured to be chosen as one of Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 and selected as a Real Leaders 100 Young Visionaries. Jamie is the founder of The Brightly Project, an initiative to bring certainty, positivity, and clarity to the field of mental health.


Machine Learning and Mental Health: How a Chatbot is being Used in Secondary Schools to Screen for Early Signs of Depression

Depression is present in 90% of all youth suicides yet symptoms are often missed and the opportunity for early intervention is lost. In Hong Kong, only 18% of youth who committed suicide had received mental health treatment.

Screening is one way to identify early signs of depression and suicide risk. But it has been criticised for high false positives, and furthering stigma.

Dr. Chiu and her team adapted a paper-based screening tool into a chatbot — a format that is friendly and much more familiar for youth. The use of machine learning has lead to increased accuracy at identifying risk and prediction of willingness to receive help.

By knowing which students are at risk, schools can intervene early, prevent crises from happening, and make data-driven decisions around mental health.

The chatbot is currently being used in research studies, and being piloted across several schools in Hong Kong, Australia, and Canada.

– How large scale screening can be implemented in schools
– How screening can complement existing gatekeeping strategies
– What schools can do to prepare and to maximise the benefit of screening
– Pros and cons of implementing screening illustrated with case studies from pilot schools
– How machine learning can enhance the follow up process by better predicting severity and willingness to receive help

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