Call for Papers: Theme Issue: Affective Computing for Mental Well-Being

JMIR Mental Health, a premier SCIE/PubMed/Scopus-indexed, peer-reviewed journal with a unique focus on digital mental health, is inviting submissions to a new theme issue titled “Affective Computing for Mental Well-Being.”


Affective computing holds promising potential in aiding various important processes aimed at enhancing and sustaining mental well-being. Such techniques can be used to augment traditional questionnaire-based diagnosis methods or enhance self-awareness by tracking user states and behavior with multimodal cues associated with verbal and nonverbal communication, physiology, and physical activities. There are great opportunities to develop personalized interventions based on individuals’ affective states and their unique needs and preferences. Extended reality (XR) solutions and mobile health (mHealth) apps can also be enhanced by becoming more responsive and adaptive. Moreover, such technologies have the capacity to advance health equity by enhancing access to mental health services, particularly for individuals encountering barriers like geographical distance, resource scarcity, or the stigma surrounding seeking assistance. However, addressing the intricate landscape of mental well-being demands a multidisciplinary approach, necessitating a comprehensive strategy from diverse perspectives and disciplines. Given the ethical issues emerging from advancements in affective computing and artificial intelligence within mental health, it is vital to address these concerns. 


This theme issue invites original contributions, including but not limited to:


  • Data collection, archiving, and retrieval in the context of mental health

  • Multimodal recognition of stress, negative affect, sleep, social isolation, or other mental health–related symptoms

  • Automatic behavior and affect coding 

  • Affective modeling

  • Analysis of interactions with patients, including synchrony and alliance

  • Natural language processing (NLP) for analysis of medical texts 

  • Multimodal and multitemporal information fusion in the context of mental health

  • Chatbots, virtual humans, XR, serious games, etc, for mental health support

  • User-centric design for mental health applications

  • Customization, personalization, and adaptation

  • User studies on affective computing technology for mental health

  • Therapeutic relationship and artificial empathy

  • Social and ethical issues regarding the use of affective technologies for mental health support, such as privacy, trust, and bias

How to submit

Please submit to JMIR Mental Health by selecting "Affective Computing for Mental Well-Being” in the "Section" drop-down list. See also “How do I submit to a theme issue?” in our knowledge base.


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Submission Guidelines

All submissions will undergo a rigorous peer-review process, and accepted articles will be published as part of a special issue, “Affective Computing for Mental Well-Being.”

Information regarding the article processing fee is available here.


Submission Deadline: April 15, 2024

Submissions not reviewed or accepted for publication in this JMIR Mental Health theme issue may be offered cascading peer review or transfer to other JMIR Publications journals, according to standard publisher policies. For example, highly technical papers may be transferred or submitted to JMIR AI or JMIR Neurotechnology. Select submissions may be in scope for JMIR Serious Games


Early-stage formative work that informs the design of future interventions or research may better fit the scope for JMIR Formative Research. Authors are encouraged to submit study protocols or grant proposals to JMIR Research Protocols before data acquisition to pre-register their study (Registered Reports—subsequent acceptance in one of the JMIR Publications journals is then guaranteed). 


Guest Editors

Iulia Lefter, PhD, Assistant Professor, Delft University of Technology

Zakia Hammal, PhD, Assistant Research Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

David D Luxton, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Washington

Theodora Chaspari, PhD, Associate Professor, Texas A&M University

Alice Baird, PhD, Hume AI

Albert Ali Salah, PhD, Professor, Utrecht University and Bogazici University

Marwa Mahmoud, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Glasgow


All articles submitted to this theme issue will be shared and published rapidly through the following mechanisms:

  • All peer-reviewed articles in this theme issue will be immediately and permanently made open access. This is the standard for all titles within the JMIR Publications portfolio.

  • Articles can be made immediately available in JMIR Preprints (with a DOI) after submission if authors select the preprint option at submission to enable this service.