TalkLife goes social for mental health

In the first of our one-minute video interviews with 2018 Impact Award winners, TalkLife co-founder and chief executive Jamie Druitt tells us about the social network his team has created for young mental health – and the machine learning layer helping predict when someone is at risk.

Project: TalkLife
Founded: 2012
Founders: Jamie Druitt, Andrew Montesi, Jacob White

In short: TalkLife is a social network providing support to young people struggling with mental health and the ups and downs of life. It provides an engaging, intuitive peer support platform where users can talk about how they’re feeling and connect to others. Its global platform now supports hundreds of thousands of users.

In Jamie’s own words: “We’re incredibly excited about our tech. We work in mental health in a peer-to-peer support network and one of our missions is to bring people together from around the globe. We’ve got a research team in the US and we are really close to being able to predict suicidal and self-injurious behaviours. We can identify it from any sort of short-form text. We’ve been working for the last few years with a team at MIT and we are taking that engine and bringing it to every mental health platform globally, so we’re supplying it. We don’t want to keep it internally, we want to take it to other social networks and improve safeguarding and clinical governance.”

Funding to date: $1.3m (six rounds of seed and grant funding including from Bethnal Green Ventures)

Twitter: @TalkLifeApp

Impact Award: People’s Choice

People’s choice award 2018 – result

1st – TalkLife (11.9%)
2nd – Go Jauntly (11.3%)
3rd – Code Your Future (9.5%)

2500 votes were cast in the people’s choice poll in February.

Video filmed and edited by Miriam Gradel, Benjamin Jones and Alice Price – all students at City, University of London’s journalism school. @cityjournalism @CityUniLondon