Therapy-oriented website may help cope with suicidal thoughts

WASHINGTGON, May 4: A therapy-based website can help people struggling to cope with suicidal thoughts, a study has found.

Mental health researchers behind the website ‘’ asked over 3,000 website visitors how they felt before they got to the site compared to a few minutes on the website.

Nearly one-third were significantly less suicidal, and the intensity of their negative emotions had also decreased, according to a research published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Ursula Whiteside, a clinical psychologist at the University of Washington (UW) in the US, said the results offer hope for people struggling to cope.

The site, developed by UW psychology professor Marsha Linehan, exposes visitors to dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), a form of psychotherapy that combines behavioral science and Buddhist principles on mindfulness and acceptance.

“We set out to build a free resource based not only in science but also with the voices and stories of people who had experienced suicidal thoughts,” Whiteside said in a statement.

“We wanted clinicians to feel empowered to help those who are struggling,” she said.

The survey of users was conducted from March 5, 2015 to December 3, 2017.

Users were asked to rate their suicidal thoughts or negative feelings on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the most suicidal or negative). More than 70 per cent of survey respondents recalled having some suicidal thoughts when they arrived at the website.

Of those who reported suicidal thoughts (2,644) at baseline, 29 per cent reported a reduction of one point or more in suicidal thoughts during the site visit. (PTI)