m-Health Approaches in Suicide Prevention at the Emergency Department: Some Theoretical and Practical Considerations | OMICS International| Abstract
ISSN: 1522-4821

International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience
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  • Review Article   
  • Int J Emerg Ment Health 2018, Vol 20(2): 401
  • DOI: 10.4172/1522-4821.1000401

m-Health Approaches in Suicide Prevention at the Emergency Department: Some Theoretical and Practical Considerations

Riaz A. Khan1,2* and Alessandra Costanza3
1Liaison Psychiatry and Crisis intervention division, Department of Mental Health and Psychiatry, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland
2Emergency division, department of community medicine and primary healthcare, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland
3Psychiatry Department, Santi Antonio e Biagio e Cesare Arrigo Hospital, , Alessandria, Italy
*Corresponding Author : Riaz A. Khan, Switzerland, Email: [email protected]

Received Date: Jan 01, 1970 / Accepted Date: Jan 01, 1970 / Published Date: Jun 30, 2018


Emergency Departments (ED) are a critical link in the suicide prevention chain. Indeed, their role is crucial in identifying, admission and clinical management of suicidal patients, as they often serve as an urgent, primary or sole point of contact with the health care system; moreover, they are directly confronted with the high rate of Suicidal Behavior (SB) recidivism amongst suicidal individuals discharged from EDs. However, suicide prevention at EDs appears as underused and needs to be reinforced in its implementation. A particular care has to be addressed to prepare the post-discharge period, in order to limit risk of social isolation and provide support. In this direction, m-Health approaches may offer an integrative contribution to the prevention strategies well-established in literature: a) They may be considered part of the “caring contacts” strategies post-ED, and b) By a personalized programming, their applications may provide a support for “safety planning” interventions, designed to identify and manage vulnerabilities and resources of the individual during the suicidal crisis. They rely on a number of coherent theoretical references and could possibly make it feasible as an original perspective to study SB. Nevertheless, m-Health has to be perceived and utilized merely as a tool, which in any case can substitute clinical evaluation and human presence at the moment of the confrontation with suicidal individual’s distress.

Keywords: Suicide; Suicide behavior; Prevention; Emergency departments; m-Health