Workshop Description and Call for Papers

The Seventh Workshop on
Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology:
Improving Access

CLPsych 2021,
to be held in conjunction with NAACL 2021

June 11, 2021

UPDATE: The CLPsych 2021 shared task is now underway! Information is available here.

Since 2014, CLPsych has brought together researchers in computational linguistics and NLP, who use computational methods to better understand human language, infer meaning and intention, and predict individuals’ characteristics and potential behavior, with mental health practitioners and researchers, who are focused on psychopathology and neurological health and engage directly with the needs of providers and their patients. This workshop’s distinctly interdisciplinary nature has improved the exchange of knowledge, fostered collaboration, and increased the visibility of mental health as a problem domain in NLP.

In the era of COVID-19, when many people are experiencing unprecedented pressure — due to financial strain, health concerns, struggles with online work and education, and social isolation — experts report serious concerns about mental health. CLPsych has an important role to play in bringing people together to discuss and exchange their recent work and results. Together, we hope to be able to advance the common goals of using human language as a tool to better understand emotional and mental states, and reducing emotional suffering and the potential for self-harm. 

This year, we are adopting the theme “Improving Access” to encourage submission and discussion of work that has the potential to help identify and serve people at risk, to create stronger links between patients and providers, and to address the needs of underrepresented communities.  We particularly welcome papers that seek to understand people who are difficult to reach, who are traditionally less likely to seek and receive help, or who may be socially or digitally excluded because of conventional measurement/diagnosis or care models.

Given the uncertainties associated with the pandemic, we are planning for a hybrid workshop that will permit in-person participation if the physical conference takes place as planned, while also permitting remote participation. This will not only expand the reach of the workshop to people who might not typically attend in person, but it will also enable a smooth transition to a fully virtual workshop if that proves necessary.

In addition to submitted work, we are delighted to have a superb slate of invited speakers and panelists. Keynote talks will be given by Dr. Munmun De Choudhury (Georgia Tech) and Dr. Matthew Nock (Harvard), with additional invited talks by Dr. Glen Coppersmith (Qntfy), Dr. Carol Espy-Wilson (University of Maryland), and Dr. Lyle Ungar (University of Pennsylvania). A panel discussion with all five speakers will be moderated by Dr. Lorenzo Norris, who is Medical Director of Psychiatric & Behavioral Services at George Washington University Hospital and host of MDedge Psychcast, the official psychiatry podcast of the MDedge Network.

Submitting Papers

All paper submissions must describe substantial, original, completed, and unpublished work. In addition to papers describing algorithms, models, or experimentation, we are happy to receive carefully argued and supported position papers, insightful reviews or synthesis of relevant literature, or informative descriptions of real-world experiences deploying language technology (including prototypes) in relevant clinical settings (Topics include, but are not limited to, the ones listed in the Intent To Submit formsee under Important Dates below) .

A key goal of this workshop is to foster the conversation with clinicians and clinical researchers, both at the workshop and when these papers are read in the future. We therefore include practicing clinicians and clinical researchers on our program committee, and the ability to communicate ideas, approaches, and results clearly to people who are not computational linguists will be as important as the technical quality of the work.  

Submissions will be done using softconf, and detailed information will appear at We will be taking submissions of both long papers (up to eight pages of core content) and short papers (up to four pages of core content); plus unlimited references. Up to an extra page can be added in the final camera-ready version to allow space for addressing the reviewers’ comments. We strongly encourage all authors to include relevant discussions of ethical considerations and impact in the body of the paper. 

Authors may optionally include appendices, but these constitute additional information and might not be looked at by reviewers. If anything in the appendix is an important part of the contribution, or important for the reviewers to assess the work, they should be a part of the main paper, and not appear in the appendix. 

All submissions must be fully anonymized to preserve the double-blind reviewing policy. Insufficiently anonymized submissions will be considered for desk-reject.

Authors should adhere to the policies under Submission Types & Requirements in the NAACL 2021 final call for papers at in terms of author guidelines, double submission, anonymity period, double blind review, data management, human subjects discussion, and referencing prior work.  Specifically regarding dual submissions, papers submitted to this workshop must not have been accepted for publication elsewhere or be under review for another workshop, conference or journal.

Paper formatting information, including Word and LaTeX templates, can be found at In order for the paper to appear in the proceedings, at least one author must register for the workshop by the early registration deadline.

Authors of accepted papers will be asked to provide a pre-recorded video presenting their work and to participate in discussant-led breakout sessions during the workshop, in which their paper will be discussed.

Important Dates

  • February 15: Authors are encouraged to send in an optional “intent to submit” at by this date, to help in planning. Although this date has passed, you are still welcome to send an “intent to submit” if you’d like; the more information we have, the better.
  • March 15, 2021 at 11:59 pm UTC-12: Workshop paper submissions are due at
  • April 15, 2021: Notification of acceptance
  • April 23, 2021: Camera-ready papers due 
  • June 11, 2021: Workshop at NAACL

Shared Task

Announcement of the shared task was delayed but we have put together an activity that is worth the wait! We have created an opportunity for secure and ethical access to sensitive data in order to work as a community on the problem of predicting suicide risk from social media, and the dataset for the task includes de-identified Twitter posts and ground-truth outcomes from individuals who have attempted or succeeded in a suicide attempt, along with control individuals who have not. These data were donated for research purposes on Qntfy’s OurDataHelps platform. Teams participating in the shared task will do their experimentation on the UMD/NORC Mental Health Data Enclave, a secure computing environment that brings researchers to the data rather than vice-versa. Please see the shared task page for details on registration and participation.


  • Nazli Goharian, Georgetown University (co-chair)
  • Philip Resnik, University of Maryland (co-chair)
  • Molly Ireland, Texas Tech University
  • Kate Niederhoffer, Knowable Research
  • Rebecca Resnik, Rebecca Resnik and Associates, LLC
  • Andrew Yates, Max Planck Institute for Informatics

Workshop site:

NAACL conference site: