Quantifying the Effects of COVID-19 on Mental Health Support ForumsDownload PDF

Aug 12, 2020 (edited Oct 09, 2020)EMNLP 2020 Workshop NLP-COVID SubmissionReaders: Everyone
  • Keywords: mental health, time series, COVID-19, topic modeling
  • TL;DR: We study how conservations and activity levels within online mental health communities have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic, like many of the disease outbreaks that have preceded it, is likely to have a profound effect on mental health. Understanding its impact can inform strategies for mitigating negative consequences. In this work, we seek to better understand the effects of COVID-19 on mental health by examining discussions within mental health support communities on Reddit. First, we quantify the rate at which COVID-19 is discussed in each community, or subreddit, in order to understand levels of pandemic-related discussion. Next, we examine the volume of activity in order to determine whether the number of people discussing mental health has risen. Finally, we analyze how COVID-19 has influenced language use and topics of discussion within each subreddit.
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