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Suicide is a persistent ongoing public health concern worldwide. Every year over one million people take their own lives. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the suicide rates have gone up by 60% in the past 45 years in some places.  People who commit suicide are usually suffering from some form of mental disorder: 90% have been diagnosed with a mental disorder within the previous year; 60% had been previously diagnosed as suffering from depression; and 47% – 60% of people diagnosed as depressed have a co-occurrence of suicidal ideation.  You can see why effective depression treatment and suicide prevention go hand in hand.

The most recent year that suicide figures are available for particular states is 2011. That year the age-adjusted suicide rate in Tennessee was actually 14.6 people per 100,000 people. This translates into 938 reported deaths by suicide. Although the suicide rate in Tennessee was down from the rate in previous years, it was still higher than the national average, which was 12.4 people per 100,000. This national figure was reported by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) for the year 2010.  The CDC also reported that teens and older adults are at higher risk for suicide; white males between the ages of 35 to 64 had the highest number of suicide deaths; and white males have a higher rate of suicide throughout their lifespan.  Because there are over 35,000 deaths by suicide reported every single year, there is a clear need to see if depression treatment and suicide prevention are related.

Many studies using randomized trials with control groups have shown the following depression treatments to be effective for depression:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Behavioral Activation Therapy
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • Supportive counseling
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Problem-solving Therapy

However, few studies have actually reviewed the literature to determine if depression treatment and suicide prevention are related.  The study being discussed in this article used data collected from NIMH or the National Institute of Mental Health’s Treatment for Depression Collaborative Research Program (TDCRP). It was set up to see if depression treatment and suicide prevention were related.  .  It also examined the effectiveness of treatment for depression like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy and antidepressants and their effects on suicidal ideation. To see if depression treatment and suicide prevention were related, the authors  looked at both short-term and long-term follow-ups.

In a recent study patients were assigned randomly to Interpersonal Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, medication (imipramine) combined with clinical management, or a placebo medication combined with clinical management. The results of the study showed all methods of depression treatment and suicide prevention were related because there was a significant decrease in having suicidal ideation at baseline to post-treatment for all treatment groups.  Additionally, they found that depression treatment and suicide prevention were related because there were highly significant changes in depression scores and changes in suicidal ideation, which means that the decrease in depression scores was positively associated with the decrease shown in suicidal ideation.  The conclusion can be drawn from this study that depression treatment and suicide prevention go hand in hand.

When someone is seriously thinking about suicide this definitely increases the risk of attempting suicide and eventually succeeding at suicide. When those contemplating suicide receive mental health treatment in a timely manner these studies show that depression treatment and suicide prevention work. Unfortunately, almost half of all adults who had seriously thought about suicide in the previous year did not get help from a mental health professional. To save lives, it is vital to spread the word that depression treatment and suicide prevention are effective for those having serious thoughts of committing suicide.

Because our depression treatment and suicide prevention focus relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our depression treatment and suicide prevention program relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in depression treatment and suicide prevention in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression treatment and suicide prevention that can result in recovery.  Depression treatment and suicide prevention can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.