Using Digital Mental Health for Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention

Using Digital Mental Health for Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention

Early intervention can have a significant and positive impact on an individual’s prognosis by halting, delaying or interrupting the onset and progression of mental health issues. Digital mental health resources can be an effective and easy to access form of treatment, as part of an early intervention strategy or assisting practitioners in the delivery of treatment.

Mental health practitioners can access a wide range of digital interventions to help facilitate their work with clients who might be at risk of self-harm or suicidal thoughts. These include web-based treatment programs or other support options such as crisis intervention, psychoeducation, safety planning toolkits, help seeking tools, modular self-help programs, and counselling services in a range of modalities. Digital services can also be used to help address underlying risk factors.

Digital Mental Health Treatment Programs

Digital mental health treatment programs are online courses of treatment that teach clinically proved techniques that individuals might normally receive face to face. They can be therapist-assisted, including contact from a remote clinician coaching them through the program, or self-guided. While many programs are diagnosis-specific, they can be used to prevent development of an issue by people on a waitlist for face to face treatment, as an adjunctive which focuses on more pressing concerns during sessions or as support after discharge.

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My Digital Health ‘iConsiderLife’

A self-help, crisis and suicide prevention digital health program to help people currently experiencing distress or suicidal thoughts.

The Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect

An online intervention to reduce stigma among males (aged 30 – 64) in the farming community and help beat rural suicide.

Digital Mental Health Tools

Digital mental health tools include apps, information sites, peer support and telephone or online counselling. Tools tend to be more transdiagnostic and lower intensity than treatment programs, targeting symptoms and supporting wellbeing.

Information sites provide trustworthy, reliable information and advice on mental health topics. They can be a great resource for clients contemplating making a change and normalising the safe discussion of suicide or self-harm.

Conversations Matter

Online tools and podcasts for professionals and community members to support the safe discussion of suicide.

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ReachOut Next Step

An online tool to help people under 25 work out what is going on for them and guide them to support options.

You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

Information and tools to assist carers throughout the stages of supporting someone who has attempted suicide, or who is at risk

Apps teach skills and help individuals practice coping strategies, helping clients build resilience and general mental wellbeing. They can be a great resource to use between sessions, incorporate into a safety plan, or for clients with minimal symptoms or treatment hesitancy.

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Available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store

An app and online version that involves creating a safety plan that the user can work through when they’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, distress or crises.

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ReMinder Suicide Safety Plan

Available on Apple App Store and Google Play Store

Simple, self-managed safety planning app providing reminders of protective factors, professional supports and personal contacts.

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Available on Apple App Store and Google Play Store

A wellbeing and suicide prevention self-help app for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians aged 15 years or older.

Peer supports services are safe, moderated, online spaces for individuals to connect with others going through similar experiences. They can be especially useful for clients who are socially isolated or are more comfortable with online interactions.

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Group forums and information factsheets around suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

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Beyond Blue

Safe, supportive, moderated online peer support for a range of mental health issues and demographics including suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

Telephone and online counselling services provide brief counselling or advice, supporting clients between sessions as part of a coping strategy, or for those who might have nowhere else to turn.

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13 11 14

Phone and real time online crisis support.

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Suicide Call Back Service (15+)

1300 659 467

Phone and online counselling for people at risk of suicide or those bereaved by suicide. Registration required for online counselling.

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Samaritans Crisis Line

135 247

Anonymous, non-judgemental, non-religious emotional support and counselling over the phone.

Have a look at our practitioner factsheet on Digital Mental Health for Thoughts About Suicide and/or Self-Harm to find more resources to incorporate into your work with clients experiencing thoughts of deliberate self-harm or suicide.