A project called How is the world feeling? is aiming to use an iOS and Android app to conduct the world’s largest study of mental health over a one-week period starting on October 10. The aim is to gather data from ordinary people to identify patterns in emotions, then to open-source anonymized data to mental health professionals in a bid to devise approaches to reducing suicide rates …

The app is designed to take seconds to use, asking people to select an emotion, select how strongly it is felt, and to enter a couple of other data points – what you are doing and whether you are alone or with others.

As a benefit for users, you’ll get a log of your own data, so you can see what makes you happiest.

If the app identifies patterns in your own emotions that may need to be addressed, it will point you to tools and resources that may be useful.

‘How is the World Feeling?’ is the largest democratic mental health survey in the world – with the aim of collecting over 70 million emotions. Access to such a large, international set of data means unprecedented understanding of mental health across an extremely vast range of demographics and geography. All data is completely open-source, meaning any individual, NGO or business can utilise the information gathered. It should be noted that no personally-identifiable information is collected from any participant.

Project co-founder Lee Crockford said that while physical illnesses get a lot more attention than mental illness, suicide is a huge silent killer.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there are over 42,000 suicides in the US each and every single year.  That’s approximately 117 people per day – with 70% of these suicides completed by men.

To participate in the study, simply download the free app from iTunes.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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