Using Twitter to Help Mental Health

Twitter can be used to track all kinds of information and trends. During the course of any day more than 500 million 140-character “tweets” are composed sharing all types of personal information. And now Johns Hopkins University has found a way to use Twitter trends to help track both physical and mental health.

Johns Hopkins researchers have previously used Twitter trends to track flu in different areas, because Twitter users express how they feel when the flu hits them, their family, or their region. With those same methods, the researchers are confident that they can find ways to track mental health, too. For instance, by sifting through tweets about particular diagnoses, or tweets with certain mental health buzzwords, the university can collect data regarding disorders such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and many other mental health concerns.

NAMI is interested to see what this research can do to improve how mental health is handled. Hopefully, this will help medical science learn more about the greatest contributing factors, for instance, and this can lead to better solutions.

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