University of Vermont

University Communications

Your Instagram Posts May Hold Clues to Your Mental Health

NYTimes logo

Public health research led by UVM's Chris Danforth in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, attracted extensive international media attention. Danforth is the senior author on a study in EPJ Data Science that shows that the color and type of photos people post on Instagram can be a powerful early warning system for depression. This work is remarkable in itself and points toward a larger potential -- being explored by UVM scientists in the Complex Systems Center and Computational Story Lab -- for probing social media and other online platforms as a source of insights for many public health problems. Stories were published in The New York Times, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, Quartz, and hundreds of other outlets around the world.