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Social Media Project Monitors Keywords to Prevent Suicide

Social Media Project Monitors Keywords to Prevent Suicide | Geek Therapy |

A Boston-based project is using predictive analysis technology to comb through social media posts in hopes of preventing suicide.


The opt-in Durkheim Project combines search technology with predictive analysis to estimate the suicide risk of an individual based on what he or she is posting on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Already in collaboration with Facebook, the Durkheim Project is currently gathering social media data from participating active duty military members and veterans.

Maxx Johnson's curator insight, September 18, 2013 12:03 AM

Still good...

robyns tut's curator insight, October 15, 2013 8:02 AM

This could be really helpful in preventing future incidents of suicide due to cyberbullying or other causes. If the project has success among the US army veterans, we could see it being implimented worldwide.


Deandra Covington's curator insight, June 28, 2014 9:09 PM

This is probably the neatest way to utilize social media to benefit our troops. The Durkhein Project is testing for mental illnesses by analyzing social media communication. Many people with mental illness want to be heard, but that doesn't mean they will just come out and say it or try to get the help they need. By finding key words or phrases, we may be able to eventually find who has PTSD or who is contemplating suicide.

While they have built a complete science around this, my only concern is that they might pinpoint the wrong people every once in a while. If they do, and their command is notified, could it affect their career? I suppose this is dependent on how they decide to deal with alerts if this is implemented. I think it is important to maintain that clinical intervention would be necessary first and only allow the member's command in if it is verified that the person is suicidal. 

With that said, I give tremendous kudos to this project. People that have a mental illness usually try to let people know they need help in some way or another. The Durkhein Project can help us better able to pinpoint these signs. 

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National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2)

T2 seeks to identify, treat, and minimize or eliminate the short and long-term adverse effects of TBI and other mental health conditions associated with military service. T2 partners with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and other organizations throughout the world. Working together, our teams of psychologists and technology developers promote resilience, recovery and reintegration so that Service members and their families can thrive in their community of choice.

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