Digital Mental Health Interventions for Suicide Prevention among Young Adults
Over the last two decades, suicide-related deaths in the United States have generally increased each year, and young adults (those ages 18-25) are especially vulnerable. Young adults are the age group with the greatest prevalence of suicidal ideation as well as past-year suicide attempts. Suicide-specific interventions such as safety planning, cognitive behavior therapy for suicide prevention (CBT-SP), and (among others), collaborative assessment and management of suicide (CAMS) can be effective at reducing suicidal ideation, behavior and hospitalization.
However, many young adults are not interested in, or cannot access, traditional forms of treatment, which limits the number who will receive in-person suicide care. Digital mental health interventions can be used to reach and engage individuals who are unable to receive (or uninterested in) traditional in-person mental health services.
Fortunately, young adults appear to be interested in using self-directed digital technologies to help manage their mental health symptoms, so digital mental health interventions may help close the treatment gap. This presentation reviews the safety, acceptability, and emerging efficacy and effectiveness of existing digital mental health interventions for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. This presentation also reviews the dissemination and implementation of these tools in different settings across the country.