Youth suicide and Telehealth: What can youth text messages tell us about suicidal distress and service effectiveness of a national crisis hotline?

October 10, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Goldfarb Room 135, Washington University in St. Louis Goldfarb Hall, St Louis, Missouri 63130
Despite local and national efforts,
suicide remains a leading cause of death among youth in the United States.
This trend has fueled an interest in technology-enhanced suicide preventive interventions. Crisis services and interventions can now be delivered or accessed via telephone, mobile phone application, text message, the internet or video. Still, little is known on the implementation and effectiveness of these interventions, especially with populations at high risk of suicide. This presentation will review an early investigator’s journey into the telehealth world and discuss the aims of a new project focused on youth with histories of suicidality and usage of a text message-based crisis hotline.


Dr. Hannah Szlyk is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. She studies suicidality among underserved and minority youth, including adolescents of immigrant families. Dr. Szlyk is specifically interested in how interventions can be better implemented outside of hospitals and clinics and can serve the needs of youth who are often marginalized within our society. She is also interested in how data science and technology can be used to better understand and prevent youth suicidality. Dr.Szlyk’s research includes mixed methods and is informed by social justice and critical frameworks.

Dr. Szlyk completed her Bachelor of Arts in international studies and foreign languages, Spanish and Russian, at Kenyon College in 2009. She then pursued a Master of Science in Social Work at Columbia University, where she specialized in clinical social work, mental health, and trauma-focused interventions. Upon graduation in 2011, Dr. Szlyk began a two-year fellowship in psychodynamic and clinical social work at The Menninger Clinic in Houston, Texas. There, she also researched, wrote, and presented on suicidality, eating disorders, and emotion regulation. Dr. Szlyk recently completed her PhD at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin in May 2018.

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