“Good to meet you yesterday.” “Hope things are going well and you’re having a good week.” “Hey – Just wanted to say hello.” With these simple text messages at scheduled times, researchers at University of Washington hoped to prevent suicides in soldiers and Marines by reaching out about once a month for a year. If successful, the inexpensive tactic could be deployed on top of the usual mental health care to address a troubling increase in suicide rates in active-duty military and veterans. Did it work? It depends whom you ask.“Caring contacts by text message helped to prevent suicide attempts and suicidal ideation among active duty soldiers and Marines,” says Amanda Kerbrat, co-author of a new study testing its effectiveness in more than 600 military service members, nearly half of whom had previously attempted suicide. The study was published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.The high rate of suicide among veterans and active military has been an ongoing concern. In Oregon, one in five suicides occurs among veterans, according to Oregon Health Authority figures.Charles Hoge, a psychiatrist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, said the trial was “a very important part of larger effort to fund and run… Read full this story
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