Talk Therapy Reduces Suicide Risk

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The BBC News website has reported on a suicide prevention study carried out by researchers from John Hopkins University and published in the journal ‘Lancet Psychiatry’.

The study, which tracked in excess of five thousand Danish people who had attempted suicide and later received psychosocial counselling, found that suicides decreased by 26% after five years, compared to people who had no therapy sessions. Moreover, the positive effects of the therapy were still evident ten years later.

The study participants volunteered to have six to ten talking therapy sessions at suicide prevention clinics in Denmark. The aim of the therapy was to give people time and space to talk about the issues in their lives that were problematic, in addition to explore difficult feelings with trained professional professionals.

Dr Elizabeth Stuart, study co-author commented that “our findings provide a solid basis for recommending that this type of therapy be considered for populations at risk for suicide.” Stuart’s colleague, Annette Erlangsen, said: “Now we have evidence that psychosocial treatment – which provides support, not medication – is able to prevent suicide in a group at high risk of dying by suicide.”

You can read the whole story on the BBC website here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30150746.

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