STEM-In-Action Follow-Up: Psychologigals
Happy New Year and welcome back to the eCYBER Blog! It might have been a while since we caught up, but we're back in business and its time to catch up with all our STEM-In-Action grant recipient teams. If you're new to the blog or you just feel like you've completely blocked out 2020, The U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) STEM-In-Action Grant awards eCYBERMISSION teams up to $5,000 to develop their projects into mature and scalable solutions in their community. Normally, we award this honorary grant to five teams, but in 2020 ten lucky teams took home the prestigious award. These week we are catching up with some high school students from Illinois to see how they are promoting mental health in their community. What's up, Psychologigals?!
Hello world! Our names are Sruthi Kotlo, Anjana Ramachandran, and Divya Lidder, and we’re 10th graders from Lisle, Illinois and we’ve been doing eCybermission since 6th grade. Anjana’s brother introduced us to Ecybermission in 2016 after a full three years of participating himself - we’re real alumni in the truest sense!
Coming into the 2020-21 Ecyber season, we were concerned about issues regarding mental health diagnosis in our community, and we knew we wanted to address the tragically high suicide rates in student and veteran populations due to MDD (Major Depressive Disorder).
The most used depression diagnosis method currently is questionnaires, which provide inaccuracies regarding patient openness due to lack of objectivity and how easy it is to lie on the questionnaires. Additionally, the cost to visit a psychiatrist and the lack of opportunities for some to reach out can inhibit the ability for individuals to receive aid.
To solve this issue, we discovered a three-pronged approach to screening for depression which is objective and has certain advantages that questionnaires don’t. Our method analyzes voice samples using statistical analysis, as well as two different types of neural networks. These programs work together to pinpoint some characteristics of depression in patients’ voices, and eventually diagnose a patient.
With our Stem-In-Action grant we plan to create an app which combines our solutions into an easily accessible screening method. We’re interested in collaborating with our school as well as psychiatrists in our area to deploy our app. We hope you stay tuned and come with us on this incredible journey!
Now, more than ever, mental health is a growing concern. With people stuck in their home during the pandemic, we must all make sure to take care of both our mental and physical health. Psychologigals are going to the extra mile in their community to do just that. Protecting their community using STEM is just ONE of the many reasons why this team continues to impress us. We cannot wait to catch up with them in the Spring and see how the mental health data in their community has changed due in part to their project.