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Friday, December 8 • 8:00am - 8:40am
Overcoming Deception in Suicide Assessment

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How an examination of my son’s lies before his death can lead us to the truth about deception in suicide assessment, the vital importance of our work at This Is My Brave, and how to eliminate stigma and save lives.Three weeks before he took his own life, my son was asked by his school counselor if he was suicidal. Jay said, “no,” and never got the help he needed. Later we learned that he had told a friend that he wanted help but didn’t know how to ask for it. If that were the case, why did he lie when the truth would surely have yielded the help he needed? In this piece I examine his lie and the school counselor’s acceptance of it to reveal a path towards more accurate suicide assessments.**AI as a Valuable Assessment Tool**What safeguards can we implement to assist in recognizing when a patient who is suffering is being dishonest about their well-being? Research shows that trained professionals (e.g., police officers and mental health counselors) are not significantly better than chance at detecting deception. To bridge this gap, artificial intelligence has been leveraged in recent work to detect deception – using non-verbal behaviors like body language or facial expressions as measures of deceptive behavior. In this talk, we discuss our findings from 20 qualitative interviews conducted with mental health professionals to better understand their experiences with patient deception, how they approach deception as it occurs, and their perceptions of using artificial intelligence as a tool to detect deception in therapeutic settings. These findings are compared with trends in the research literature surrounding deception in clinical and therapeutic settings.

Learning Objectives:
  1. To introduce the possibility of patient deception about suicidal ideation to medical practitioners.
  2. To present evidence of humans’ limitations in deception detection.
  3. To introduce the potential merit of artificial intelligence for more accurate assessment of deception in clinical and therapeutic settings.

avatar for Erin Gallagher, BA

Erin Gallagher, BA

Executive Director, This is My Brave, Inc.
Erin (she/her) is proud to be a part of the This is My Brave team as Executive Director. Following the suicide of her son, Jay, in 2016, Erin and her husband became passionate mental health advocates and have worked tirelessly to influence policy on appropriate responses, particularly... Read More →
avatar for Sayde King, BS

Sayde King, BS

PhD Candidate, The University of South Florida
Sayde King is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Florida. She is also a member of the Cyber Identity and Behavior Research Laboratory, which studies biometric systems, smart sensing for human behavior analyses, and applied... Read More →

Friday December 8, 2023 8:00am - 8:40am PST
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