Treatment For Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior: A Review of Family-Based Interventions

J Marital Fam Ther. 2018 Jan;44(1):107-124. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12234. Epub 2017 Apr 10.


The purpose of this article is to review the scientific evidence on the effects of family based interventions for suicidal ideation and behavior. We conducted an extensive search of electronic databases using a comprehensive search strategy. This search resulted in 16 studies that tested 13 interventions for treating suicidal ideation and behavior using family based interventions. Of the interventions identified, three yielded an overall improvement in suicidal ideation and behavior while an additional three interventions produced partial improvement in mental health symptoms. These studies targeted suicidal ideation and behavior in youth or adolescents while no studies examined family interventions for adults with suicidal ideation and behavior. The limitations of these studies and the need for additional research are examined.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Family Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Suicide / prevention & control*