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Professor Colette Hirsch LENS project is focus of MQ Deutsche Bank Hackathon 2022

A 24-Hour Global MQ Transforming Mental Health Hackathon, sponsored by Deutsche Bank, challenged over 1350 employees worldwide with turning a web-based mental health platform, developed by Professor Colette Hirsch at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), into a prototype mobile app to reduce negative thinking patterns in people with anxiety disorder and depression.  

MQ Hackathon

Every year the award-winning hackathon, led by the Technology, Data and Innovation division at Deutsche Bank, selects a charity and runs a 24-hour event where teams from across the globe are challenged to collaborate and find technology solutions for charities. This annual high-energy event aims to develop bespoke solutions, and to ultimately harness the skills of technical and programming experts to fast-track impactful digital projects.

This year, MQ Transforming Mental Health Research was chosen as Deutsche Bank’s UK Charity of the Year 2022-23. Following a call for proposals to identify an impactful digital research project, the IoPPN’s Learning Effective New Strategies (LENS) platform was selected.

The LENS project, was originally funded by MQ Mental Health Research, aimed to reduce repetitive negative thinking, such as worry and rumination, in people with generalised anxiety and depressive disorders. The project was led by Professor Colette Hirsch and is part of the Cognition in Emotional Disorders and Resilience (CEDAR) group at the IoPPN.

Winning the competition to have MQ Deutsche Bank’s Hackathon focus on developing an App version of LENS was fantastic. All the hackathon teams brought their great skills and ingenuity to develop an App that will make it easier for people with anxiety and depression to access evidenced based interventions at a time and place that suits them– Colette Hirsch, Professor of Cognitive Clinical Psychology, IoPPN

The hackathon’s challenge was turning the web-based LENS platform into a prototype mobile app, to help increase its accessibility and scalability, with a view to ensuring more people could benefit from the LENS platform. The event took place on 15-16 September with a total of 1,350 employees from across the Deutsche bank sites around the world. Working in teams of 10-12, they generated and developed ideas to create a theory-driven, evidenced-based, digital therapy to support mental health.

MQ Mental Health Research has funded important research at the IoPPN and continue to champion and fund world-class research to transform the lives of everyone affected by a mental health condition. Between 2020-2025, MQ have honed their focus on the areas they believe are most vital and can have the greatest impact.

Colette Hirsch is Professor of Cognitive Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience and BRC/U associate. She is also an Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist in South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma, where she set up and runs the first dedicated Generalised Anxiety Disorder service in the UK. She is the director of the Cognition in Emotional Disorders and Resilience (CEDAR) group and her experimental research is mainly focused on cognitive processes that maintain anxiety disorders, depression and also resilience in highly stressed populations.

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Colette  Hirsch

Colette Hirsch

Professor in Cognitive Clinical Psychology