How computing and linguistics are advancing our understanding of suicide risk

March 27th, 2019 / By L. Gordon Moore, MD

Dr. Rebecca Resnik tells me that the rate at which clinicians can recognize that a person is suicidal has not changed in 50 years. Regardless of the type of clinician—primary care physician, clinical social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist—there’s been no substantive change.

But one thing has changed: Advances in computer science make it possible to identify ways that potentially suicidal people use language that differs from the ways non suicidal people use language. In a discussion I found fascinating, Dr. Resnik describes the complexity of language use as a tool for diagnosing behavioral conditions, the difficulties of classification systems that may be biased and the challenges of how our society chooses to fund mental health care.

Listen to the recording of this discussion on our Inside Angle podcast.

L. Gordon Moore, MD, is Senior Medical Director, Clinical Strategy and Value-based Care for 3M Health Information Systems.