While suicide-specific psychosocial interventions often teach coping skills to suicidal individuals, little is known about the strategies that individuals intuitively use on their own to cope with suicidal ideation in everyday life. This study used Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) to examine the effectiveness of specific coping strategies individuals use naturally to reduce the intensity of suicidal thinking and found that distraction/positive activity-based strategies are helpful in decreasing suicidal ideation in the short-term.
These findings can help clinicians advise patients about strategies to use to cope with suicidal thoughts to prevent acting on them in a crisis and they also have the potential to inform development of psychosocial interventions to prevent suicide.
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