Brief Psychological Intervention after Deliberate Self-Poisoning


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


University of Manchester

Program costs include a standardized training manual, training, and the cost of four 50-minute therapy sessions held in the patients’ homes.

This intervention provides four sessions of psychotherapy for adults who have deliberately poisoned themselves. Treatment is provided in the patient’s home by trained nurse therapists. A study conducted in the UK showed decreased suicidal ideation in those who received the four 50-minute treatments compared to those who received regular treatment. In addition, at the 6-month follow-up, it was found that only 9% of psychotherapy group members had harmed themselves again compared with 28% of treatment as usual group members. 

Note: This intervention is a legacy program from the SPRC/AFSP Evidence-Based Practices Project (EBPP), which stopped conducting evidence-based reviews in 2005 when SAMSHA began reviewing suicide-related interventions for NREPP.

Implementation Essentials

Therapists skilled in interpersonal therapy.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 8.2: Develop and implement protocols for delivering services for individuals with suicide risk in the most collaborative, responsive, and least restrictive settings.

Objective 8.3: Promote timely access to assessment, intervention, and effective care for individuals with a heightened risk for suicide.

Objective 9.5: Adopt and implement policies and procedures to assess suicide risk and intervene to promote safety and reduce suicidal behaviors among patients receiving care for mental and/or substance use disorders.