into youth mental health
A collaboration between TalkLife, Microsoft Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University to better understand and predict self harm, with the aim to create meaningful interventions.
We combine and exert the power of probabilistic graphical models, decision theoretic models, and Box's loop to better understand, intervene and predict self-injurious behavior on TalkLife.
We imbue our models with the knowledge of current theoretical models in clinical psychology, choose model specifications that respect the sparsity, noise and complexity of the observed phenomena, and extensively critique our models with an aim of forging a better understanding of the risk-factors and behaviors underlying self-harm given anonymised behavioral data of thousands of people self-reporting engagement in self-harm. Our hope is to not only bettter understand their plight, but also eventually craft meaningful interventions that we hope will help these individuals.
TalkLife is developing a world-first platform that uses machine learning and human-in-the-loop computing to give trained professionals the ability to offer TalkLife users assistance and services, specific to their individual circumstances, in real time.
TalkLife’s vision is to reduce self harm and suicide globally, and make a positive impact on the lives of our users. We believe that utilising the latest and best science available can help us achieve this goal. Transparency and preserving the community culture within TalkLife is priority, with every effort made to avoid disrupting the experience of users.
TalkLife users are required to opt-in to this program on sign up, and all data contributed is completely anonymised. Different to mainstream social networks, TalkLife is a community dedicated to youth mental health conversations. It is a culture of “giving and getting” help, where experiences and learnings are shared, and new innovations are welcomed.
TalkLife users are not only helping each other through daily peer support, they are now providing insights that have the potential to change lives for years to come.
This collaboration has been approved by the Institutional Review Board at MIT and Harvard, and the ethics board at Microsoft Research.
This is not a for-profit project. There are no commercial agreements or funding arrangements between the collaborating organisations.
MIT, Harvard, Microsoft Research and TalkLife have come together to share knowledge, skills and resources in the hope of gaining a greater understanding of self injurious behaviour, with the ultimate goal to reduce self harm and suicide among young people.