A team of researchers have created a website that they claim can reduce suicidal thoughts. The site's homepage includes a panel of video-linked images of people with relatable experiences on suicide, as well as negative emotions. It also includes resources to explore dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) skills.
To investigate the benefits of this site, 3,000 website visitors were asked about how they felt before and after they go on the website. Participants had to rate their feelings on a scale of one to five. Number five indicated feeling very negative. According to the data close to one-third felt less suicidal and negative emotions after visiting the site.
Lead author of the study Ursula Whiteside believes the results of the study indicate this development could help people struggling with suicidal thoughts. "The site exposes visitors to dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), a form of psychotherapy that combines behavioural science and Buddhist principles on mindfulness and acceptance," Whiteside told a news portal. Adding, "We set out to build a free resource based not only in science but also with the voices and stories of people who had experienced suicidal thoughts. We wanted clinicians to feel empowered to help those who are struggling."
Whiteside says most of the people who die due to suicide do not receive the proper treatment. “The vast majority of people who die by suicide never receive specialized mental health care,” Whiteside told a news portal.
However, new screening techniques and care guidelines could reduce the number of deaths by suicide drastically. The study's findings are published in theJournal of Medical Internet Research.
Another study has also found that a drug known as ketamine, may be able to reduce suicidal thoughts in people that are depressed. "There is a critical window in which depressed patients, who are suicidal, need rapid relief to prevent self-harm," Michael Grunebaum, lead author of the study told a news portal. Adding, "Currently available antidepressants can be effective in reducing suicidal thoughts in patients with depression, but they can take weeks to have an effect.
Grunebaum further explained: "Suicidal, depressed patients need treatments that are rapidly effective in reducing suicidal thoughts when they are at highest risk. Currently, there is no such treatment for rapid relief of suicidal thoughts in depressed patients." The findings of this study were originally published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.