A new study from North Carolina State University and Syracuse University assessed what would motivate people to use chatbots for mental health services in the wake of a mass shooting. The researchers found that users’ desire to help others with mental health problems was a more powerful driver than seeking help for their own problems.
“We saw a sharp increase in mass shootings in the U.S. in recent years, and that can cause increases in the need for mental health services,” says Yang Cheng, first author of the study and an assistant professor of communication at NC State. “And automated online chatbots are an increasingly common tool for providing mental health services—such as providing information or an online version of talk therapy. But there has been little work done on the use of chatbots to provide mental health services in the wake of a mass shooting. We