Fashion industry as a source of inspiration for the ‘Mental Health Department 4.0’: an overview

G. Mattei

School in Labor, Development and Innovation, Marco Biagi Department of Economics & Marco Biagi Foundation, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy; Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; Association for Research in Psychiatry, Castelnuovo Rangone, Modena, Italy


To investigate the topic of creativity and innovation in psychiatry, with a focus on the Italian model of the mental health department.


This overview is based on books and papers purposely extracted from the national and international literature, published in the fields of psychiatry and economics, in English and Italian, without time limits, concerning the following topics: mental health care; mental health department; big data; creativity; innovation; Industry 4.0; fashion industry. 


The way data are collected, analysed and used to generate predictions in the fashion industry, namely in the fast fashion, may be a source of inspiration for Italian psychiatry, to innovate the model of the mental health department (MHD). This requires the ability to collect and process big data, by means of ad hoc data centers. Also, common software is required in each branch making up the MHD. The adoption of a broader approach to clinical practice based on projects (each project representing a user, and his/her family), rather than on problems/periods of life (i.e., childhood and adolescence vs adulthood, substance misuse vs psychiatric problems, psychological discomfort vs. psychiatric disorders, etc.) may help overcome some issues traditionally affecting psychiatry, e.g., the difficulty to close the gap between adult psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry, the difficult relationships between psychiatry and psychology, and the controversial concept of dual-diagnosis. A project-based approach may also foster the interplay with other Agencies and with Authorities. 


To implement the ‘mental health department 4.0’, at least four issues are required: the implementation of data centers; the use of the same Information and Communication Technology system in each branch of the department; the generation of just in time outputs and data driven ‘empirical responses’ to mental health needs; the shift from a patient-centered system to a project-centered system. All this requires liaison functions and skills, as well.

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