|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News|Suicide Risk Especially High for U.S. FarmersMany Chronic Illnesses Linked to Suicide RiskSuicide Risk Is High for Psychiatric Patients Long After Discharge From CareAutism's 'Worryingly' High Suicide Rates Spur ConferenceSuicide Risk Quadruples After Lung Cancer DiagnosisSuicide by Insulin?After Suicide Attempt, a Phone Call Could Save a LifePAS: Hospitalizations Up for Suicidal Thoughts, Actions in KidsTeen Suicide Thoughts, Self-Harm Cases Double in a DecadeReasons Why Parents Should Be Wary of '13 Reasons Why'Study Cites Factors Linked to Suicide in the YoungSelf-Harm Can Be a Harbinger of SuicideSuicide Often Leaves Mental, Physical Woes in Surviving SpouseDrinking, Drug Abuse Doubles Veterans' Suicide Risk: StudyU.S. Suicide Rates Rising Faster Outside CitiesSame-Sex Marriage Laws Tied to Fewer Teen SuicidesBrain Scans May Shed Light on Bipolar Disorder-Suicide RiskPilots Suffer Depression, Suicidal Thoughts at Fairly High RatesSubway Surveillance Video Provides Clues to Suicidal BehaviorSuicide Risk Up for Patients With Acute Coronary SyndromeDepression, Suicide Ideation Prevalent in Medical StudentsAttempted Suicide Rates in U.S. Remain UnchangedTeen 'Choking Game' Played Solo Points to Suicide RisksSuicide Can Strike Children as Young as 5: StudyNearly 10 Million U.S. Adults Considered Suicide Last YearKnow the Warning Signs of Suicidal ThoughtsSerious Infections Tied to Suicide RiskLocked Doors May Not Prevent Inpatient Suicide, AbscondingBinge-Eating Disorders May Be Linked to SuicidalityEuthanasia, Doc-Assisted Suicide Increasingly Being LegalizedDoctor-Assisted Deaths Didn't Soar After LegalizationJobs With the Highest Suicide RatesReligious Service Attendance May Lower Suicide Risk in WomenReligion a Buffer Against Suicide for Women, Study SuggestsAAP: Doctors Should Screen Teens for Suicide Risk FactorsTeen Boys Who Attempt Suicide More Likely to Abuse as AdultsNew National Suicide Statistics at a Glance Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
After Suicide Attempt, a Phone Call Could Save a Life
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: May 7th 2017
SUNDAY, May 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A simple phone call can make a big difference to someone who's attempted suicide and may be contemplating another try.
A new study found that follow-up phone calls after a suicidal patient was discharged from a hospital emergency department reduced future suicide attempts by 30 percent.
The study included nearly 1,400 patients in eight locations across the United States who were provided with interventions that included specialized screening, safety planning guidance and follow-up phone calls.
"People who are suicidal are often disconnected and socially isolated. So any positive contact with the world can make them feel better," said study co-author Dr. Michael Allen. He's a professor of psychiatry and emergency medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz.
Allen is also medical director of Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners in Denver, which has implemented a similar program where counselors call suicidal patients following their discharge from emergency departments.
Simply giving a suicidal patient a psychiatric referral when discharged isn't enough, he said.
"We call them up to seven times to check on them after discharge. If they aren't there we leave a message and call again," Allen said in a university news release.
"We don't need more brick-and-mortar buildings, we can reduce suicide risk by simply calling people on the phone," he added.
"This is a remarkably low-cost, low-tech intervention that has achieved impressive results," Allen said.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. In 2015, there were more than 44,000 deaths by suicide. Over 1 million people attempt suicide every year in the United States, the researchers said.
Dr. Emmy Betz is one of the study's co-authors. She's also an associate professor of emergency medicine at the university.
"Telephone follow-up programs offer a great way to help bridge an ED [emergency department] visit to outpatient mental health care and hopefully save lives," Betz said.
"It would be great to see such programs become more widely implemented. Suicide is a leading cause of death, especially in Colorado, and a shortage of inpatient and outpatient mental health care options make innovative approaches like telephone counseling even more attractive," she said.
The study was published recently in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on suicide prevention.
This article: Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.