In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health issues have become increasingly prevalent, and it is important to understand how different groups are being affected. In this study, the researchers used natural language processing techniques to analyze Reddit posts and identify patterns of how specific mental health problems are expressed in language. By analyzing a baseline of pre-pandemic posts, they were able to identify at-risk users and reveal the distribution of concerns across Reddit. This information can help provide better resources to the millions of Reddit users who are struggling with mental health issues.
Using textual analysis, the researchers were able to uncover mental health complaints as they appeared in real time during the pandemic, identifying vulnerable groups and alarming themes. This approach could be useful during other world-changing events, such as elections and protests. By leveraging the power of language, the researchers hope to improve our understanding of mental health issues and provide better support to those who need it most.