Research Topic

Psychosocial Interventions for Suicide Prevention

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Psychosocial interventions for the prevention of suicidal thoughts and behaviours are receiving increasing attention. Under the expression “psychosocial interventions” a wide variety of treatments are included, from psychotherapeutic interventions (such as psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral ...

Psychosocial interventions for the prevention of suicidal thoughts and behaviours are receiving increasing attention. Under the expression “psychosocial interventions” a wide variety of treatments are included, from psychotherapeutic interventions (such as psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, problem-solving therapy, and mindfulness-based interventions) to suicide-specific therapeutic frameworks (such as the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality, CAMS), as well as case management and active outreach through postcards, telephone calls, and home visits.

According to the most recent meta-analytical findings, different types of psychotherapies, considered together, seemed to be efficacious in the reduction of both suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-injuries, a risk factor for subsequent suicide attempts. Moreover, among interventions after a recent episode of self-harm (within 6 months), cognitive behavioral therapy and problem-solving therapy were associated with fewer participants repeating self-harm at 6 and 12 months’ follow-up and improvement in suicidal ideation. Dialectical behavior therapy, case management, and sending regular postcards did not reduce repetition of self-harm; however, dialectical behavior therapy was found to reduce the frequency of self-harm. Interestingly, interventions directly addressing suicidal thoughts and behaviours during treatment were found to be effective immediately post-treatment and long-term on suicide attempts and suicide death, whereas treatments addressing symptoms indirectly associated with suicide (e.g., hopelessness, depression, anxiety, quality of life) are only effective long-term.

This evidence could be considered as a starting point for a deeper evaluation of efficacious psychosocial interventions for the prevention of suicidal thoughts and behaviours. Other less studied approaches, such as psychoanalytic, psychodynamic (e.g., transference-focused therapy and mentalisation-based treatment), and systemic ones deserve further investigations together with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, acceptance and commitment therapy. and positive psychology approaches, just to mention the best-known treatments. Efficacy/effectiveness of digital interventions (e.g., online programs, such as internet-based psychotherapy and mobile telephone applications, such as modules of relaxation exercises or mindfulness skills training) should be considered as well.

The aim of this Research Topic is to collect the experiences of the experts of the field from a research and from a clinical point of view. We would be happy to receive:
- Original studies focused on psychosocial interventions (not only face-to-face but also digital) targeting suicidal thoughts and/or behaviours;
- Reviews;
- Meta-analyses;
- Clinical case studies;
- Opinion articles;
- Neuroscience and neuroimaging based studies;
- Cost-effectiveness studies.

The focus could be extended to any treatment approach, and articles could consider a single treatment or compare different ones. Similarly, all the phenotypes related to suicide could be considered (from suicidal ideation, to suicide attempts or suicide death, also including non-suicidal self-injuries). Studies could focus on youth, adult, or elderly populations.


Keywords: Psychotherapy, Suicide, Attempted Suicide, Suicidal Ideation, Self-Injurious Behavior


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Submission Deadlines

18 December 2017 Abstract
15 March 2018 Manuscript

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Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

18 December 2017 Abstract
15 March 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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