15 November 2023: Mathematical and Computational Modeling of Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors

Shirley Wang
Department of Psychology
Yale University

Suicide is a leading cause of death worldwide, claiming over 800,000 lives each year. Unfortunately, whereas scientific advances have led to declines in other leading causes of death over time, the current suicide rate is nearly identical to what it was 100 years ago. In order to make meaningful progress, new methods and approaches are needed that can capture and model the immense complexity of suicide and other forms of self-harm. In the first half of this talk, I will present a series of studies harnessing machine learning and real-time monitoring to predict who is at risk for suicide and when risk is highest. In the second half of this talk, I will take a complementary theory-driven computational approach to investigate why and how suicide and self-harm arise by building formal mathematical models of these phenomena as complex dynamical systems. Together, this work may help us advance the understanding, prediction, and prevention of suicide and self-harm.

View a recording of this session here.