#SPSM chats about lessons learned from @LoganPaul, @Boogie2988, and others: 1/21/18, 9pCT. #suicide #socialmedia #mhsm

#SPSM chats about Logan Paul, and how he (unintentionally) has changed how major social media platforms handle the topic of suicide, 1/21/18, 9pCT.

Interestingly, it wasn’t suicide prevention media guidelines that led to Logan Paul’s apology about showing the corpse of someone who died by suicide in a Japanese forest known as a destination for people who want to take their lives.

While official leadership at YouTube waited 4 days to make the decision to remove this  video, and took weeks to announce decisions to sever ties with Logan Paul, it was actually immediate and overwhelming public backlash about his grossly inappropriate use of the corpse of a person who died by suicide just to get social media views.

Social media, is, at it’s heart, *social*. In this case it was the overwhelming public consciousness about the seriousness of suicide and mental health challenges that led to the backlash, and severe public and professional consequences for both Logan Paul, as well as YouTube. In fact there are community “standards,” often informal and just socially understood, that seemed to pressure the removal of this video, led to increased efforts YouTube, Google, and others to improve strategies for responsible coverage of suicide on social media.

With more people “coming out” about their lived experience of suicide, in fact, many people responded with social media about suicide that was actually inspiring. Like this:

Watch us LIVE here:

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 4.38.45 PM

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#ProjectClarence 2017: #SPSM chats #thumbnails, and #holiday #suicide myths, 12/10/17, 9pCT

Project Clarence Thumbnail 2#SPSM brings back #ProjectClarence for it’s FIFTH YEAR, 9pCT. We’ll be chatting about simple ways you can use thumbnails to increase traffic on your video content. All you need are tools like PicMonkey or Canva, and to remember the secret numbers: 1920 X 1080!

As you know, #ProjectClarence is a nod to Clarence the Angel, in “It’s a Wonderful Life” the holiday movie classic that has forever cemented the relationship of Christmas and Suicide Prevention. Whatever you celebrate this season, #ProjectClarence is a time to road test 1 new social media skill for the few weeks of hiatus, until our first show of 2018 (1/22/18, 9pCT).

This year we’ll be discussing how we’re using video thumbnails to increase traffic to your suicide prevention video content. Maybe you’ll make a video that  dispels myths about the holidays and suicide (historically the period of the year with the LOWEST suicide mortality rates in the US). Make a #ProjectClarence thumbnail and be sure to tag #SPSM!

We’ll go from SPSM YouTube thumbnails that look like this (OUCH!):

bad thumnail

To this:

Project Clarence Thumbnail 2


Watch us LIVE here:

If you want to find past years’ episodes of #ProjectClarence, check out our blogs, listed below:

#ProjectClarence 2013

#ProjectClarence 2014

#ProjectClarence 2015

#ProjectClarence 2016


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@SFreedenthal chats with #SPSM, 12/3/17, 9pCT.

Dr. Stacy Freedenthal chats with #SPSM about how she uses social media to outreach both clinicians and people with lived experience with her published clinical expertise with suicidality , 12/3/17, 9pCT.

Check out some of her most favorite blog posts here:

Notably, these are different from her most popular blog posts:

Folks who order her new book from Routledge will get a 20% discount if they use the code IRK71 before Dec. 31, 2017https://www.routledge.com/Helping-the-Suicidal-Person-Tips-and-Techniques-for-Professionals/Freedenthal/p/book/9781138946958

And, of course, you can always order from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Helping-Suicidal-Person-Techniques-Professionals/dp/1138946958/

Watch her LIVE here:


Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, writes extensively about suicide. Her book, Helping the Suicidal Person: Tips and Techniques for Professionals, was published in September by Routledge, an imprint of Taylor & Francis. Almost 2 million people have visited her website, SpeakingOfSuicide.com since 2013. She also has published scholarly articles about the measurement of suicidal intent, youth’s help-seeking when suicidal, and other topics related to suicidality. (For more information about her book, see HelpingTheSuicidalPerson.com.)

As an associate professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, Dr. Freedenthal teaches courses on mental health assessment, counseling, and suicide risk assessment and interventions. She also has a private psychotherapy and consulting practice specializing in helping people who have experienced suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide, or lost a loved one to suicide.

Dr. Freedenthal has worked in the field of suicide prevention since 1994, when she volunteered at a suicide hotline. She has become intimately acquainted with suicide not only through her professional training, research, and the stories of her clients, but also through her own personal struggles with suicide, some of which she wrote about in The New York Times. Prior to entering the mental health field, Dr. Freedenthal worked as a newspaper reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She later earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas, and a Ph.D. in social work from Washington University in St. Louis.

She lives in Englewood, CO, with her husband, teenage son, and their cats.

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#SPSM hosts #OpenMic chat and #EvilApples, 11/26/17, 9pCT

It’s American Thanksgiving this week! This means our usual cadre of hosts, mods, and community will be traveling, shopping, cleaning, and cooking. It’s a time to reflect on our year, what we are thankful for, and SOCIALIZE!

Grab some holiday goodies, and join us on our hashtag, #SPSM, at 9pm for OPEN MIC NIGHT! And, consider downloading the Evil Apples app, and hooking up with other SPSMers during the chat for some late night adult humor!

On google play, find Evil Apples here. On iTunes, find it here.


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#NetNeutrality vote and #Suicide #Prevention: #SPSM chats 11/19/17, 9pCT

Beau Pinkham returns to #SPSM to get us up to date on how this week’s net neutrality vote may impact suicide prevention innovation and efforts, 11/19/17, 9pCT.

Watch the conversation LIVE here:

Here’s Beau’s quick and dirty review:

Basically, boils down to several theoretical possibilities:

  1. If Net Neutrality is gutted/removed, this could drive more people to use various methods to hide their online presence to get around the throttling that the various companies would put in place. I’m talking about VPN’s – I’m unsure of how else someone would do that, but nature finds a way (for instance, this might also push people to be a bit more open about trying to do things like getting on neighbor’s wifi, etc. – think cable-jacking from the 80’s and 90’s when cable prices started hitting a much higher figure)
  2. Also bad, but probably not as bad – every single domain host will have to start working nicely with all the different ISP’s. So what if you’re doing telehealth through a website that doesn’t have a good relationship with, say, Comcast? What if Mediacom doesn’t like the domain host for your chat service? Etc. These are all things that will eventually be ironed out but we don’t have a timeframe for it and what it might look like.
  3. This would allow unprecedented amount of control by companies regarding who could see what while using the Internet. We all know that suicide could easily become a political issue – what if an Internet company decided to block access to certain websites regarding suicide/suicide prevention based on political or religious beliefs?
  4. We don’t know how this will impact social media at all. Maybe not at all – maybe as drastically as what we’d probably see with Netflix/Hulu/etc.
  5. This puts even more barriers in place for agencies to start new online initiatives. If a crisis center cannot quickly react to changes and develop new ways of communicating with people online, that could rapidly harm their ability to seek funding and grow the way we want to see crisis centers grow.


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#CreditScore, Actuarial #BigData, and #Suicide prediction: #SPSM chats 11/12/17, 9pCT

Can your credit score and other financial “big data” be used to assess suicide risk, or even predict an attempt or death? #SPSM chats, 11/12/17, 9pCT.

There are multiple historic examples about the relationship between suicide and finances. Consider the US Great Depression, the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997, or the most recently suicide rate increases during the Great Recession of 2008. Financial losses may be the triggering event in a decline in health that ends in suicide. It may also be that changes in credit scores are a digital signal about deteriorating mental health.

What’s interesting about about the relationship between finances and suicide, is that financial matters involve a LOT of digital signals, and it is entirely plausible that these signals could be used to assess suicide risk or predict a death. Of course, like many “big data’ innovations discussed on SPSM, there are a LOT of ethical and legal issues to consider. Join us for the chat, and watch us LIVE here:

Insurers are already using your credit score to predict risk and future behaviors, like your risk of a car wreck. Because it involves large markets, a lot of money, and a LOT of data, the insurance industry is on the front edge of using big data to assess risk and predict behaviors and events that seem rare and “random” (like car wrecks). Check out some choice quotes from the link above:

“The evidence presented in this empirical study of credit scoring and automobile insurance losses is clear: Credit scores predict insurance losses in automobile insurance at a statistically significant level. In fact, they are among the most useful predictor variables available to underwrite and price automobile (and homeowners) insurance. Rationales as to why these predictors work are socio-psychological, behavioral, and biological/biochemical.”

“To produce a “credit score” for an individual for predictive use in insurance, an individual’s credit history file is examined, and a subset of variables is selected from a total array of approximately 450 variables collected in the credit record. Different insurance companies may use different subsets of these behavioral and financial variables and develop different statistical credit score models; however, all generally contain from 10–50 credit history variables that are incorporated into statistical models using insurance losses as the dependent variable.”

“Considerable additional data are being collected by both insurers and others (e.g., credit-scoring firms, GPS firms, social media firms, store loyalty programs) that, combined with new predictive modeling techniques, have the potential to uncover “nontraditional” underwriting variables providing enhanced risk assessments. As the insurance industry advances beyond traditional classification and underwriting variables, the need will increase to justify why accurate prediction works for these “nontraditional” variables and to go beyond simply complying with Actuarial Standard 12 and to verify that any correlation discovered has a basis in fact and is not without an economic, socio-psychological, or behavioral underpinning. The development of a theoretical foundation for why a predictor (such as credit scores or occupation and educational achievement) works can also provide a path for new underwriting variable discovery beyond an ad hoc search.”

“Credit scores are, as we demonstrate empirically, strongly associated with future losses and can be incorporated as an underwriting and classification variable to improve underwriting and loss prediction. They contain behavioral information predictive of loss propensity not duplicated by traditional underwriting variables, yet they remain controversial.”

Controversial enough, that using credit scores actuarial models and pricing is banned in some states. And, of course, because financial data is even more heavily regulated and protected than most health care data, doing peer reviewed research on the relationships between credit scores and insurance risk is pretty hard to do. Just imagine doing this kind of peer reviewed research related to suicide risk assessment and prediction…So, of course, people are finding a way around this:

“According to a 2011 Celent report (Beattie and Fitzgerald 2011, p. 15Beattie, C., and M. Fitzgerald. 2011. Using Social Data in Claims and Underwriting. Celent Industry Trends Report. http://www.celent.com/reports/using-social-data-claims-and-underwriting. [Google Scholar]), “Just as insurers recognize a link between credit health and risk in auto insurance, social data may offer similar insights for insurers who set out to crack the data.” They predicted that social media data use will be incorporated into core underwriting activities in the future. Data mining of social networks and social media are already used in certain areas of insurance. For example, insurers data mine social media to discover fraud in workers’ compensation (NAIC 2012b) and for subrogation negotiations (Kenealy 2013Kenealy, B. 2013. Insurers Finding Ways to Use Social Media in Underwriting, Claims Handling. Business Insurance June 3. http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/99999999/NEWS070109/130609971?tags= |332|65|342#full_story. [Google Scholar]).”

What do you think? Fascinating? Disturbing? Orwellian? Join us 9pCT to chat!


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How did #NSPW go? @SSpencerThomas chats about @Action_Alliance, 11/5/17, 9pCT

In 2017, led by the Action Alliance, national partners in suicide prevention united around a shared hashtag, and coordinated messaging across the field. How well did #NSPW work? What are the lessons learned and possible next steps? Chat with #SPSM, 11/5/17, 9pCT.

What happened during #NSPW 2017?

o   American Association of Suicidology

o   American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

o   Education Development Center, Inc.

o   Families for Depression and Awareness’s Care for Your Mind

o   National Football League

o   National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s

o   Suicide Prevention Resource Center

o   U.S. Health and Humans Services

And check out the NSPW 2017 Metrics:

  • Partners who signed on: 50+ partners
  • Website traffic: 2,000+ users
  • Thunderclap campaign: 600+ supporters signed up with a total social reach of 3.1 million
  • #NSPW hashtag: 110 users, 703 posts, and a social reach of 100,000+

We will discuss how Sally Spencer Thomas and others organized #ElevateTheConvo chats, how that contributed to #NSPW and how many people with lived experience amplified the digital signal to broadly share a message.

Remember, when #SPSM had *just started* back in 2013? We talked about the limited reach and coordination of social media messaging during Suicide Prevention Month. In just four years, the field has really grown in it’s savvy, coordination, and reach. Let’s chat about how far we’ve come in this field, and where we can go next.

Watch us LIVE here:

Sally Spencer-Thomas headshot (2)

Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas: As a clinical psychologist, inspirational international
speaker, impact entrepreneur, and survivor of suicide loss, Dr. Spencer-Thomas sees
the issues of suicide prevention and mental health promotion from many
perspectives. Dr. Spencer-Thomas was moved to work in suicide prevention after her
younger brother, a Denver entrepreneur, died of suicide after a difficult battle with
bipolar condition. Known nationally and internationally as an innovator in social change, Spencer-
Thomas has helped start up multiple large-scale, gap filling efforts in mental health including the award-
winning campaign Man Therapy (a program using humor to engage men in mental health) and the
nation’s first comprehensive workplace program designed to help employers with the successful
prevention, intervention, and crisis management of suicide. A recent invited speaker at the White
House, Spencer-Thomas’ goal is to elevate the conversation and make suicide prevention a health and
safety priority in our schools, workplaces and communities. Spencer-Thomas has also held leadership
positions for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the International Association for
Suicide Prevention, the American Association for Suicidology, and the National Suicide Prevention
Lifeline. She has won multiple awards for her advocacy including the 2014 Survivor of the Year from the
American Association of Suicidology, the 2014 Invisible Disabilities Association Impact Honors Award,
and the 2012 Alumni Master Scholar from the University of Denver, the 2015 Farbarow Award from the
International Association for Suicide Prevention and the 2016 Career Achievement Alumni Award from
the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology.
She has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver, Masters in Non-profit
Management from Regis University, a Bachelors in Psychology and Studio Art with a Minor in Economics
from Bowdoin College. She has written four books on mental health and violence prevention. She lives
with her partner and three sons in Conifer, Colorado.
Connect with Dr. Spencer-Thomas by visiting her website and signing up for her newsletter at
http://www.SallySpencerThomas.com and by following her on Facebook @DrSallySpeaks, Twitter
@sspencerthomas and LinkedIn. Come “elevate the conversation” with her by participating in her
monthly podcasts, blogs and twitter chats!


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