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Doctor using cell phone

Follow-Up Communication After Suicidal Attempt, Reduces Future Attempts

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According to a recent study, 30 percent of future suicide attempts can be reduced by a simple follow-up phone call after a suicidal patient is discharged from a hospital.

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.

ColoradoSPH professor, Dr. Emmy Betz, is one of the study's co-authors. 

"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.

Read the full story at Consumer Health Day