A troubled teenager is hospitalized with suicidal thoughts. The patient is diagnosed, medicated, and counseled by a team of experts.
The teen is sent home a few days later, and the following week the parent finds the child’s bedsheets fashioned into a noose.
The scenario is tragically common in the field of psychiatry, which has long struggled to develop strategies to help adolescents cope with recurring thoughts of suicide in the weeks after leaving the hospital.
A preliminary study from UT Southwestern’s O’Donnell Brain Institute shows an intervention program that includes a personalized app could make a difference: Researchers found the rate of attempted suicides by teenagers who received the intervention was halved compared to those who received the standard care during their hospitalization.