Emotion Recognition from Natural Phone Conversations in Individuals with and without Recent Suicidal Ideation

John Gideon, Heather T. Schatten, Melvin G. McInnis, Emily Mower Provost


Suicide is a serious public health concern in the U.S., taking the lives of over 47,000 people in 2017. Early detection of suicidal ideation is key to prevention. One promising approach to symptom monitoring is suicidal speech prediction, as speech can be passively collected and may indicate changes in risk. However, directly identifying suicidal speech is difficult, as characteristics of speech can vary rapidly compared with suicidal thoughts. Suicidal ideation is also associated with emotion dysregulation. Therefore, in this work, we focus on the detection of emotion from speech and its relation to suicide. We introduce the Ecological Measurement of Affect, Speech, and Suicide (EMASS) dataset, which contains phone call recordings of individuals recently discharged from the hospital following admission for suicidal ideation or behavior, along with controls. Participants self-report their emotion periodically throughout the study. However, the dataset is relatively small and has uncertain labels. Because of this, we find that most features traditionally used for emotion classification fail. We demonstrate how outside emotion datasets can be used to generate more relevant features, making this analysis possible. Finally, we use emotion predictions to differentiate healthy controls from those with suicidal ideation, providing evidence for suicidal speech detection using emotion.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1830

Cite as: Gideon, J., Schatten, H.T., McInnis, M.G., Provost, E.M. (2019) Emotion Recognition from Natural Phone Conversations in Individuals with and without Recent Suicidal Ideation. Proc. Interspeech 2019, 3282-3286, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1830.


@inproceedings{Gideon2019,
  author={John Gideon and Heather T. Schatten and Melvin G. McInnis and Emily Mower Provost},
  title={{Emotion Recognition from Natural Phone Conversations in Individuals with and without Recent Suicidal Ideation}},
  year=2019,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2019},
  pages={3282--3286},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1830},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1830}
}