Introduction: This pilot study investigates feasibility and acceptability of Caring Cards, a suicide prevention intervention inspired by Caring Contacts and the Recovery Model, where Veteran peers create cards that are sent to Veterans recently discharged from a VA psychiatric hospitalization for suicide risk.
Methods: Caring Cards consists of: (1) a weekly outpatient group where Veterans (card makers) create cards, and (2) sending cards to recently discharged Veterans (card recipients). Feasibility for card makers was measured by attendance; acceptability (satisfaction) was examined. Card recipients were sent one caring card, one week post-discharge. Feasibility for recipients was measured by the percentage of Veterans that met eligibility and follow-up response rate; acceptability (satisfaction) was examined.
Results: Caring Cards is feasible and acceptable. The outpatient group had a higher attendance rate (81%) compared with other clinic groups. The percentage of eligible card recipients was 61%. Of these, 69% were reached for follow-up and 50% provided follow-up responses. Card makers and recipients both expressed positive experiences with Caring Cards.
Conclusion: Caring Cards is a low-intensity, feasible, and acceptable intervention with potential benefits for both Veteran card makers and recipients. Additional research is needed to determine the efficacy of Caring Cards as a suicide prevention intervention.
Keywords: caring cards; suicide prevention; veterans.
© 2021 The American Association of Suicidology.