Category Archives: Collaboration

Share our posts!

If you are someone who likes to share blog articles you enjoy with your social network, feel free to look through our articles on (intervention site for adolescents) and (intervention site for parents).  We were excited to share with you a couple weeks ago the reasons we opened up our blogs so that anyone can read the articles. If they would like to comment, then they have to log-in and enter the study.  The current phase of the study is to get feedback on the sites to continue to improve them, and to build our user community.

We’ve added easy to use share buttons at the bottom of each blog article, so feel free to share away even if you are not in the study! Thanks for your continued support!

Crisis Text Line

A year ago we posted about the development of the Crisis Text Line and how it’s a transformative tool for people to be able to text someone when they are in crisis. Since the Crisis Text Line’s inception, they have had 16,185,952 messages exchanged since August 1, 2013.

Which, as Nancy Lublin notes in her TED talk:

“That’s the volume, velocity and variety to provide a really juicy corpus. We can do things like predictive work. We can do all kinds of conclusions and learnings from that data set.So we can be better, and the world can be better.” 

Furthermore, has been launched to share ALL THIS DATA with us! Crisis Trends aims to empower journalists, researchers, and citizens to understand the crises Americans face so we can work together to prevent future crises from happening. From the TED talk:

“This data is also making the world better because I’m sitting on the world’s first map of real-time crises.Think about it: those 6.5 million messages, auto-tagging through natural language processes, all of these data points — I can tell you that the worst day of the week for eating disorders: Monday. The worst time of day for substance abuse: 5am. And that Montana is a beautiful place to visit but you do not want to live there, because it is the number one state for suicidal ideation.”


With this information, we can know when people are most affected by certain mental health issues, and we can create better interventions.

NAMI Conference

This past Saturday a few people from our team went to the NAMI Southwestern PA Annual Education Conference! We took the SOVA FullSizeRenderproject with us! We had a table where we shared materials, talked about our project and made a lot of connections with other groups and individuals in Southwestern Pennsylvania. We hope that by spreading the word about our research study that we can get more youth and parents involved in developing this supportive online community!

At the conference we heard from many different speakers and IMG_0011panels about early onset psychosis, mental health and self care, and doing advocacy work! Be on the lookout over the next few weeks as we give you an update about what we learned!



Join our advisory board!

SOVA would not be where it is without our stakeholders! We knew from the start that user design is important to designing the SOVA websites. We did not realize how important it would be to really every step in the research process. Depression and anxiety are such an individual experience that affect so many people – adolescents, young adults, teachers, counselors, therapists, parents, religious figures, medical providers… the list goes on and on. With 1 in 5 of us experiencing mental illness, we know in some way – whether us or a loved one – it affects us all. The more we listen to others, the more likely we are to develop an intervention that meets the needs of adolescents and their parents.

They provide us with a context, take us out of our “research world,” and challenge us with real life questions, forcing us to grow!

We have many stakeholders but our core team consists of the SOVA advisory board. Advisory board members consist of adolescents and adults who have an interest in advocating for adolescents with symptoms of depression or anxiety. Maybe they have experienced it, their children have, or they take care of others through their careers or community advocacy who experience depression or anxiety. Our SOVA advisory board meets about 4 times a year. In between meetings, individuals may take on individual projects as well, but that is not mandatory. In the past, our advisory board has helped give us vital feedback about our website design, provided connections to community organizations, and about how we can reach out to new users. They provide us with a context, take us out of our “research world,” and challenge us with real life questions, forcing us to grow!


If you are interested in getting involved and think you could commit to about 4 in person meetings a year in Pittsburgh, please take our brief survey. Looking forward to hearing from you!

The Internet and Teenager Health

Dr. Ana Radovic was recently interviewed by WESA, the Pittsburgh NPR station in regards to how the internet can provide useful and sometimes not so useful health education for adolescents.

Dr. Radovic noted that given the research done by Northwestern University that 86 percent of teen respondents reported they got at least some health information from online sources.  Furthermore, many of the teens reported that they get “a lot” of information from the internet, or as Dr. Radovic called it “Doctor Google.”

She said: doctors should always keep that in mind when seeing patients, that they can provide a context for the information that the internet cannot.

As we move forward with our study, we like to keep this in mind so that we can help educate adolescents with useful, correct information, and be able to point them toward a health care professional to receive that context of information when it is needed.

You can listen to the full (6 minute) interview here on WESA’s website. 


National Suicide Prevention Week



Did you know?

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24
  • Every day there is an average of over 5,400 suicide attempts by adolescents in grades 7-12
  • It has been found that four out of five people had shown  warning signs before committing suicide

National Suicide Prevention Week was formed to raise awareness and advocate for these alarming statistics, and corresponds with a global effort.  This year the national dates are September 6th- 12th.

Here are some national campaigns you can take part in to show support for preventing:

Sources: AFSP,  Jason Foundation

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Collaboration Projects Coming Soon…

Hi everyone!

Pretty soon we will be unrolling some projects on the collaboration page. Expect to see a wiki-style space for working together on various activities. We plan to keep this fairly private in that those who are interested in participating will need to use the password sent in our weekly emails to access to the collaborative aspects of our site.  If you don’t already receive weekly emails, please email and let us know. We also plan to keep all related posts private and only visible to the collaborators. We are super excited to take this next step, as the success of our work is extremely dependent upon your support and feedback.

Stay tuned and we look forward to hearing what you have to say!