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Brief Published: 22 May 2018

Samsung’s Predictive Text Improves Depression Support

Samsung has partnered with global creative agency BBDO to develop a predictive texting tool that helps users communicate with people suffering from depression.

Words that may seem harmless or encouraging to most can trigger a spiral of self-doubt and hatred in a person with depression. Texting is especially fraught, as it lacks the reassuring social cues of face-to-face communication – such as tone of voice, facial expressions or body language.

Predict to Prevent spots potentially harmful messages and suggests more unambiguously supportive phrases with the same sentiment from a database of more than 100,000 in English and Thai. For instance, 'You will be fine' becomes 'We'll make it through together'.

By recognising this problem, Samsung's project fixes an issue many consumers don't even know exists, neutralises harmful miscommunication before it happens, and helps increase awareness of mental disorders.

An estimated 322 million people worldwide are battling depression (WHO, 2017). With small everyday interventions like these, brands can demonstrate that they take their consumers' experiences into consideration, and supply invaluable tools to shield them from unintentional harm.

For more on how to respectfully address and support mental health issues, see Nurturing Mental Health, Compassion Culture: Embracing Empathy, and our April 2017 Pop Culture Round-Up focus on mental health.