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Five cities, one mission: #MentalHealthHackathon
Boston · Chicago · New York · San Francisco · Washington D.C.
December 12, 2015



In the United States, one in five adults — our friends, colleagues, and loved ones — experience a diagnosable mental health condition like depression or post-traumatic stress at some time during their life. Yet some Americans still suffer with undiagnosed, undertreated, or untreated mental health challenges that increases their risk for suicide, leading more than 41,000 to take their own lives each year.

We can help.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Institutes of Health, and Department of Veteran Affairs are collaborating with technology nonprofits and local agencies to host a day of hackathons and data jams across the nation to address suicide prevention. On December 12th, data scientists, engineers, designers, and domain experts are joining forces across five cities for one purpose — to prevent suicide by unlocking the power of open data and technology.

"Suicide prevention is the responsibility of all people... If you are hurting, know this: You are not forgotten. You are never alone. Your country is here for you, and help is available... As one people, we stand with all who struggle with mental illness, and we continue our work to prevent this heartbreak in our communities."
— President Barack Obama, World Suicide Prevention Day 2015

Events are free and open to the public, space allowing. Register to join us.


Boston, MA

The Boston VA Healthcare System in Jamaica Plain will host a data sprint focused on identifying Veterans at-risk for suicides using federal + academic open data sets. This event is focused on pairing together mental health professionals, Veterans, supporters, designers, technologists, and data scientists to co-design interventions using open data sets to proactively reach Veterans at risk for suicide.

Chicago, IL

The Office of the Mayor of the City of Chicago will host a hackathon focused on answering the question: How can we create one database of referrals for organizations that refer people to mental health and emergency services? This event is focused on bringing engineers, data enthusiasts, and local agencies together to create a sustainable solution to real-time referrals.

New York, NY

Crisis Text Line will host a hackathon and data sprint to develop an open API for mandatory reporting in all 50 states, which will be freely available for all suicide prevention services to use.

San Francisco, CA

Bayes Impact is hosting a hackathon to build software prototypes and data visualizations using open data to address suicide among Veterans. This event will virtually bring together domain experts from the Boston event with designers, engineers, and data scientists from leading Silicon Valley companies for a cross-country collaborative effort.

Washington, DC

Impact Hub DC will host a tech sprint to augment Data.gov–the home of the government's open data where the public can find free data, tools, and resources–by adding new and enhancing datasets related to suicide in order to stimulate new research, encourage innovative data visualizations, and facilitate the development of web and mobile applications.

We can't do it without you. Register for any of the five events with the button above!