FILE PHOTO: Facebook has begun expanding their AI capabilities to automatically detect suicide-related content, and alert local emergency responders. Suicide is a growing public health concern.

In Canada, 4,000 lives are claimed by suicide each year — that is 10 lives per day. For every one of these suicide deaths, there are five people hospitalized following self-injury, 25 to 30 suicide attempts and seven to 10 people affected by each tragedy, according to analysis by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Suicide rates are highest among certain groups — such as Indigenous peoples, immigrants and refugees, prisoners and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) community — and are on the rise. The impacts of suicide are felt widely.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) recently reported an increase in transit suicides at the end of 2017, with eight attempts in December alone, and a corresponding rise in rates of stress leave by TTC employees, due to the toll this took on staff. COMMENTARY:
There is no free lunch at the all-you-can eat data buffet As researchers in psychiatry, in the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network for Depression, we are collecting clinical and biological data during treatment interventions for people with major depression.

We are exploring early clues to changes in behaviour and mood states using mobile health technologies. One of our goals is to identify early predictors of relapse, and increased risk of suicidal behaviour. Read more from…

thumbnail courtesy of