RE-FRAME-IT A randomised controlled trial investigating the impact of an Internet-based intervention on school students experiencing suicidal ideation

Presentation First Author: 
Jo Robinson

Introduction: Suicidal ideation is common amongst adolescents, and school counsellors are often the first point of contact. However there is little evidence regarding effective interventions for this population. E-health interventions are becoming increasingly popular and have been shown to be effective in the treatment and prevention of depression and anxiety. However they remain untested in suicidal youth, hence representing a gap in knowledge. Aims: The aims of this paper are to describe the development and piloting of an Internetbased cognitive-behavioural therapy program designed for school welfare staff to use with suicidal students. Methods: This is a pre-test / post-test study. Students who had presented to the school wellbeing team with recent suicidal ideation were recruited into the study. Participants completed an 8-week Internet-based intervention designed specifically designed for at risk school students. Key outcomes were suicidal ideation, depressive symptoms and hopelessness assessed at baseline and immediately following completion of the intervention. Participants were also assessed for suicidal ideation and distress on a weekly basis. Results: Twenty-one young people completed the intervention. Significant reductions in suicidal ideation and depressive symptoms were seen at the post-intervention assessment. No changes were seen in terms of hopelessness. Participants did not appear to find participation in the program distressing and nor did it appear to induce suicidal ideation. Students report finding watching the video diaries to be the most enjoyable component of the program and completing activities to be the most helpful. Participants found problem solving, and replacing unhelpful thoughts with helpful thoughts the most useful skills to have learned. Discussion: Findings from the pilot study indicate that conducting Internet-based suicide prevention activities in high schools is safe, feasible and acceptable. Preliminary findings also indicate that this type of intervention has the potential to reduce suicidal ideation among adolescents.

Conference Name: 
Presentation Date: 
November, 2013
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