A recent study based on social media data shows that chat features of conversations between help-seekers and therapists can be used to predict suicide risk and develop models to reduce the risk.
“There is an interesting link between language and health that hasn’t been explored in real-time fashion,” said Carlos Gallo, a research assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. For instance, expression of positive or negative emotions compared to “yes” or “no” answers is linked to reduced suicide risk. Help-seekers who are less engaged tend to fare the worst, Gallo said.
On the other hand, he said a counselor can improve suicide prevention by using sentences such as – “it’s understandable that you are feeling sorry for your loss” or “thank you for sharing that awful experience” or “what would it feel like if you were to take a walk around the park?”
Asian Americans are increasingly pushing for environmental reforms to address the issues impacting their communities across the country. A new Chicago advocacy group recently held a workshop on Asian Americans and Environmental Justice to drive home the importance of the community’s political involvement for climate action.
Andrea Chu has been organizing these workshops for the past year. Chu, whose parents immigrated from Taiwan, has studied environmental planning and management. She is involved with Chicago Asian Americans for Environmental Justice (CAAEJ), an environmental group urging residents of Chinatown and Bridgeport to test their garden soil for lead.
Twenty-four-year-old Juna Syakya can draw intricate flowers or butterflies on your hands with her henna cone in less than 20 minutes. Mehndi, or henna, is a form of body art that uses a plant-based dye and Syakya brings the ancient art form to the Deeba Beauty Salon on Devon Avenue where she works.
The plant, Lawsonia inermis, grows in hot climates. Its leaves, flowers and twigs contain tannins, which are natural dyes used across the ages to create the intricate lace-like designs of henna.
“Henna is best for people who don’t want permanent tattoos. Also, it doesn’t cause infections and is way cheaper,” said Syakya’s colleague, Farzana Mirza, who is from Pakistan.
Traditionally, henna artists have been women and only women would get henna on their hands and feet. Costs range from $10-$40 depending on the area covered. Usually, henna gets washed away in less than 10 days. The dye doesn’t penetrate the skin and is safe.
Glaciers across the globe behave in a synchronized manner, said geologist Thomas Lowell at the recent Comer Climate Conference, an annual national conference held in southwestern Wisconsin. Not only does he study glaciers around the world to reach this conclusion but also compared data obtained by separate dating techniques.
Sounding the alarm, as we warm temperatures the glaciers retreat faster, he said. This, in turn, would change the sea levels in coming years by a greater extent than people imagine now, Lowell added.
The results show that incoming solar radiation, which varies seasonally in the two hemispheres, is not the major factor affecting climate change and has implications for identifying other factors.
“I have looked at glaciers from central-northern Greenland to Antarctica,” said Lowell, a professor of geology at the University of Cincinnati. “They were universally behaving in the same way during the last glacial maximum. They were out, bounced around a little bit and receded at the same time.”