New Tech Fights Suicide with Analytics



In the event you really feel triggered by this text’s content material, please contact a suicide prevention hotline instantly:

The Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US): 1-800-273-8255
The Samaritans (UK) will be reached at 116 123
Disaster Textual content Line: Textual content HOME to 741741 (US), 686868 (Canada), or 85258 (UK)

This month, September, is Nationwide Suicide Prevention Month in the US.

Alice Hendy misplaced her brother, Josh, when he was solely 21, to suicide on November 25, 2020.

One in all my closest mates, Erika Elkington, suicided on August 6, 2015, a month shy of her 30th birthday.

Neither Josh nor Erika “dedicated” suicide. They have been victims of psychological illnesses we don’t totally perceive which resulted of their deaths by suicide. Regardless of the rising arsenal of psychological well being and suicide prevention sources, no surefire methodology exists to stop suicide.

For Alice, me, and the folks we’re lucky to collaborate with, one factor grew to become clear: We would have liked extra instruments to fight suicide.


Ending one’s personal life is neither simple nor straightforward. As survivors of suicide attest to, “making an attempt” is excruciating. Forty p.c of deaths by suicide don’t happen on the primary “try.” Most younger victims endure via a number of “makes an attempt” previous to their loss of life and in between, conduct analysis on self-harm. Whereas a lot of the information associated to suicide is obscured from our view (for instance, we don’t know what number of “makes an attempt” usually happen previous to a sufferer’s loss of life), we do know that each month,1.2 million folks search the web for directions on suicide.

Previous to his loss of life by suicide, Josh Hendy researched on-line finish his life. Sadly, when his search engine’s outcomes prompted him with a suicide prevention hotline quantity, he didn’t attain out.

Josh’s sister, Alice, based the nonprofit, R;pple, with the singular function of intervening the second an individual initiates an internet seek for suicide. Alice and her group found that by changing a single hotline quantity in an internet search end result with an enticing message of hope alongside a number of suicide prevention sources (accessible by textual content or voice), that they may enhance the prospect an individual in disaster will cease looking out and as an alternative search the skilled assist she, he, or they want.

A fascinating message of hope is a type of sample interruption, an exterior issue that breaks a cycle, or psychological sample by which an individual is caught. Sample interruption has been discovered to be extraordinarily efficient at pulling an individual in disaster out of a downward psychological spiral.

The progressive instrument gives folks with a voice, alternative, empowerment and management at a time when they’re most susceptible.

Because of Google and Microsoft’s browser extension functionality, this imaginative and prescient has grow to be a actuality. Obtain the R;pple Chrome and Edge extensions.

You deserve to feel hope. NHS Contact info

The Media Suggestions That Scale back Copycat Suicides

The best way most of us have been conditioned to speak about suicide is dangerous, stigmatizing, and deters at-risk people from searching for the skilled assist they want. For instance, the time period “dedicated suicide” associates suicide with crime and sin provided that they’re different acts we “commit.” Nobody “commits” most cancers. If we need to normalize caring for our psychological well being as we do for the remainder of our our bodies, we have to use extra impartial language- for instance, say that somebody “died by suicide” or “suicided.”

Phrases and pictures matter within the battle in opposition to suicide. The best way many information and leisure media retailers depict highly-publicized suicides right now results in a 13% enhance in nationwide suicide charges in response to a examine carried out by the College of Vienna. Researchers from McGill College estimate this contagion impact, additionally known as “copycat suicides,” to be even larger, citing a 16% enhance in suicides following Robin Williams’ loss of life. Most shockingly, within the month following the discharge of a well-liked present a couple of teenage lady’s suicide, the suicide charge among the many present’s goal audience- adolescents- elevated by 29% in response to researchers from The Ohio State College.

Every of us has the ability to play an energetic position in saving lives. Whereas the Suggestions have been initially authored for media professionals, they’re equally relevant to how we as human beings talk, and finally assume, about suicide.

  • Don’t share an individual’s suicide methodology.
  • Discuss suicide as you’ll another terminal sickness. It’s not “dedicated.”
  • Keep away from blame or hypothesis. Root causes are extra advanced than we perceive right now.
  • Embrace psychological well being and suicide prevention sources each time attainable as a result of somebody would possibly want them.
  • Don’t focus on the existence or contents of a suicide notice.
  • By no means present or share photos of a suicide.
  • Don’t romanticize or glamorize suicide.
  • Focus on suicide throughout the context of psychological well being as a result of it’s preventable.
  • Resist the urge to oversimplify suicide. As a substitute, acknowledge identified threat elements.
  • Don’t sensationalize suicide.

Because of Dr. Dan Reidenberg, Managing Director of the nonprofit SAVE (Suicide Consciousness Voices of Training), the Suggestions are freely accessible on Dr. Dan has made these Suggestions his life’s work: he co-edited the WHO’s Reporting on Suicide Suggestions, is the writer of the U.S. Greatest Follow Suggestions for Media Reporting on Suicide and consults ceaselessly with the media on decreasing copycat suicides via their utility.

Copycat suicides have been first documented following the publication of “The Sorrows of Younger Werther” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Within the 18th century, males who recognized with the story’s protagonist, Werther, took their lives in the identical vogue because the fictional character. Many left a duplicate of the e-book behind in lieu of a suicide notice. This “Werther Impact” describes the rise in suicides following a extremely publicized suicide of an actual individual or fictional character.

Luckily, the Werther Impact has an antidote, the “Papageno Impact,” derived from Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute” by which the protagonist’s mates supply him alternate paths to overcome his psychological anguish. As with the Werther Impact, this phenomenon isn’t restricted to fiction; many individuals who contemplated or “tried” suicide later thrive after getting the best assist. The Papageno Impact demonstrates the ability of psychological well being and suicide prevention sources to avoid wasting somebody’s life.

“Following implementation of tips for accountable media reporting on suicide in Vienna in 1987, the variety of suicides and suicide makes an attempt within the native subway system dropped by 80% (Etzersdorfer & Sonneck, 1998; Sonneck et al., 1994)”

Regardless of sturdy proof in assist of the Suggestions, including150 peer-reviewed publications, in a examine of 1,700 articles, the Cisco Vancouver Synthetic Intelligence (AI) Lab discovered that the highest 4 Suggestions had a meagre 3% adoption charge. A CDC examine of 246 media reviews of youth suicides in Santa Clara County discovered that the reviews contained eight instances extra life-threatening than life-saving content material.

NASR: Information App for Suicide Reporting

The Information App for Suicide Reporting features equally to a grammar-checker for adherence to probably the most impactful 4 Suggestions. The NASR AI was developed by the psychological well being professionals at SAVE and in collaboration with my partner-in-good, Dr. Annie Ying, a group of good technologists and over 100 volunteers at Cisco, Govt Sponsor Sanjiv Patel and me. The app makes it straightforward for everybody, together with information and leisure media professionals, to speak about suicide in a life-saving vogue.

The AI’s technical specs are included in our publication, “Lowering suicide contagion impact by detecting sentences from media reviews with express strategies of suicide”, which was accepted into Harvard’s 2021 AI for Social Good workshop.

“Throughout my twenty years of expertise in knowledge science and analysis, I’ve introduced many AI improvements to life. Typically, seeing how AI can have the potential to do hurt or take away jobs retains me up at evening – however this venture actually showcases that AI is a instrument that may save lives! I’m so grateful to work with among the brightest minds: Jen, Dr. Dan, my group on the Cisco Vancouver AI Lab (Dr. Shima Gerani, Riley Hun, Raphael Tissot and Artemio Rimando), and the Cisco volunteers.”
– Dr. Annie Ying

The Pure Language Processing (NLP)-based know-how is free and straightforward to make use of: simply kind or paste suicide-related content material into the textual content field on the backside of the house web page on, click on the “Confirm” button, and NASR will present quick suggestions. In the event you missed a Advice, you possibly can even edit your textual content and run NASR once more.

NASR can be freely accessible to organizations who’d like to incorporate it on their very own websites and even incorporate its performance into their content material creation and/or editorial instruments. E-mail: [email protected].

Be a part of the Battle

I hope you’ll be part of us within the battle in opposition to suicide by taking these steps right now:

On behalf of Alice, everybody who has misplaced somebody to suicide, those that’ve selflessly devoted themselves to suicide prevention, and me, thanks for taking motion!