Telefono Amico Italia (TAI) provides a telephone help service for people in emotional distress. The operators summarize in short reports the contents of calls and a group of experts classifies them into categories. The present contribution moves from the analysis of the contents of the reports with a twofold aim of detailing the categories adopted by TAI and proposing an update. Two different automatic classification perspectives have been exploited: a top-down one which aims to assess the consistency of the contents of the phone calls with the categories adopted by TAI's experts, and a bottom-up one which seeks to obtain a classification of the texts by topic (topic extraction). The top-down approach, showed the goodness of the categories adopted by the experts, but also the need for a redefinition of some categories that showed large areas of semantic overlap. The bottom-up analysis, has both confirmed the presence of categories already adopted and allowed to recognize the existence of new emerging categories. The multivariate analysis of these new categories revealed a decisive role of the category mental health in monitoring suicide.
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