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‘As-needed’ apps have potential to prevent suicide

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‘As-needed’ apps have potential to prevent suicide

But evaluation of such digital interventions found only 50% were effective in reducing risk

Senior features writer

Mobile apps for people at risk of suicide can decrease suicidal thoughts and behaviours about half the time, a study on these digital tools, which “deliver as-needed help in the moment”, has found.

Many interventions included safety planning for a time of crisis and the most effective were those based on cognitive or dialectical behaviour therapy, according to the review published in the March/April journal of Harvard Review of Psychiatry.

“Adolescents and young adults may benefit most from new technologies in mental health: they are comfortable in using digital technologies and are the age group most affected by suicidal thoughts and behaviours,” noted the researchers from the Health Research Institute at the Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital in Madrid, Spain...

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