An interactive web-based method of outreach to college students at risk for suicide.
OBJECTIVE AND PARTICIPANTS: From 2002 to 2005, the authors tested an interactive, Web-based method to encourage college students at risk for suicide to seek treatment. METHODS: The authors invited students at 2 universities to complete an online questionnaire that screened for depression and other suicide risk factors. Respondents received a personalized assessment and were able to communicate anonymously with a clinical counselor online. At-risk students were urged to attend in-person evaluation and treatment. RESULTS: A total of 1,162 students (8% of those invited) completed the screening questionnaire; 981 (84.4%) were designated as at high or moderate risk. Among this group, 190 (19.4%) attended an in-person evaluation session with the counselor, and 132 (13.5%) entered treatment. Students who engaged in online dialogues with the counselor were 3 times more likely than were those who did not to come for evaluation and enter treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The method has considerable promise for encouraging previously untreated, at-risk college students to get help.
Haas, A; Koestner, B; Rosenberg, J; Moore, D; Garlow, SJ; Sedway, J; Nicholas, L; Hendin, H; Mann, JJ; Nemeroff, CB
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