Post-acute crisis text messaging outreach for suicide prevention: a pilot study

Psychiatry Res. 2014 Jul 30;217(3):154-7. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.02.034. Epub 2014 Mar 6.


Several post-suicide prevention strategies such as sending postcards or making phone calls have been used to keep in contact with suicide attempters. The continuity of care has been beneficial to the prevention of post-acute suicidal behaviors. The aim of the study was to evaluate the technical feasibility and acceptability of text messaging outreach in post-acute suicide attempters. Eighteen post-suicidal patients were included in a prospective, monocentric, open-label, 2 months pilot study. The text messages were sent from the intranet program that we specially developed for the study. Technical feasibility of this text message intervention was evaluated by the analysis of text message reports. Acceptability of such intervention was evaluated by a standardized phone interview. Our study showed that receiving text messages sent from an intranet program after a suicide attempt is technically possible. This post-crisis outreach program was accepted by the patients who found it to have a positive preventive impact. Text messaging outreach offers several advantages such as lower cost, and easier utilization compared to current post-acute care strategies. We suggest further randomized controlled trials in a large sample of suicidal patients to assess the efficacy of this novel outreach tool for prevention of post-acute suicide.

Keywords: Prevention and control; Recurrence; Suicide, attempted; Telephone; Tertiary prevention; Text messaging.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease / psychology
  • Adult
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Suicide, Attempted / prevention & control*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology
  • Text Messaging / economics
  • Text Messaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult