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Table of Contents
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 94-95

Role of information and communication technology in preventing the suicide

1 Department of Dental Health Sciences, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission21-Feb-2022
Date of Decision28-Feb-2022
Date of Acceptance05-Mar-2022
Date of Web Publication05-Jul-2022

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Srikanth Pallerla
Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Hosur Main Road, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/iopn.iopn_17_22

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How to cite this article:
Shweta K, Pallerla S. Role of information and communication technology in preventing the suicide. Indian J Psy Nsg 2022;19:94-5

How to cite this URL:
Shweta K, Pallerla S. Role of information and communication technology in preventing the suicide. Indian J Psy Nsg [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Apr 2];19:94-5. Available from: https://www.ijpn.in/text.asp?2022/19/1/94/349882

Dear Editor,

Despite its prevalence, suicide remains a major public health concern worldwide. Approximately 703,000 people commit suicide in the world each year, with the majority of suicides occurring in low- and middle-income countries. Globally, suicide was the fourth leading cause of death among youths between 15 and 29 years of age in 2019. Pesticides, hanging, and the use of firearms were some of the most common suicide methods in 2019.[1] In India, there were 15,305 suicides reported in 2020 with a rate of 11.3, as per the National Crime Records Bureau report.[2] Suicide is preventable.

Suicide ideation can be effectively treated, but many people do not seek help because of factors such as a lack of suicide literacy (i.e., little knowledge about suicide), a lack of perceived need, or a lack of help seeking behaviour, an inclination to handle problems alone, attitudinal barriers such as stigma, shame, beliefs about receiving professional help, fear of hospitalisation, structural factors such as time and financial constraints, and previous negative experiences.[3] In most cases, stigma and financial constraints prevent people from seeking therapy.

These hurdles can be addressed by information and communication technology (ICT) to prevent suicide. A collaborative and welcoming learning environment that encourages creative process, self-expression, and interactive content production can help people to create a stronger sense of self-identity, as well as social relationships and peer support groups, all while utilizing mobile applications. Communication via the Internet allows those contemplating suicide to communicate with each other and has the potential to prevent suicide and suicidal behavior.[4]

ICT will aid in screening individuals and identifying those at risk, so that early intervention and efficient treatment can be offered, and it will also aid in better patient care. This can be achieved by using a range of technical approaches, for example, using mobile applications to monitor symptoms, to offer information and assistance with suicidal thoughts and behavior, or to deliver a web-based intervention, treatment program, and follow-up support. Mood tracking, suicidal thought tracking, action plans for preventing suicidal thoughts, information and education, support network connections, and emergency therapy are all available through digital technology and artificial intelligence. With smartphone applications, avatar coaches, and websites being so widely used, it represents an attractive target with promising prospects for suicide prevention targeting vulnerable people who are not using the traditional mental health services and living in areas with insufficient psychiatric facilities.[5]

Suicide prevention is a public health concern, and applications in this field must be backed by professionals who develop these tools to care for their patients and prevent this situation, which affects many countries. The lack of suicide prevention applications for smartphones should be countered by creating an app intervention for suicidal teenagers and their parents. In this digital age, mobile devices are becoming more and more popular, and it is possible for these devices to be used to circumvent help-seeking impediments. The global public health agenda should be geared toward preventing suicides and suicide attempts and increasing community awareness. The accessibility, affordability, and availability of mental health-care treatment globally must also take into account cultural issues that can influence help-seeking practices. It is essential to employ a multisectoral public health approach to prevent suicide, as well as integration of information and communication technologies.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Suicide. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/suicide. [Last accessed on 2021 Dec 26].  Back to cited text no. 1
Available from: https://ncrb.gov.in/sites/default/files/adsi2020_Chapter-2-Suicides.pdf. [Last accessed on 2021 Dec 26].  Back to cited text no. 2
Bruffaerts R, Demyttenaere K, Hwang I, Chiu WT, Sampson N, Kessler RC, et al. Treatment of suicidal people around the world. Br J Psychiatry 2011;199:64-70.  Back to cited text no. 3
Andrews G, Cuijpers P, Craske MG, McEvoy P, Titov N. Computer therapy for the anxiety and depressive disorders is effective, acceptable and practical health care: A meta-analysis. PLoS One 2010;5:e13196.  Back to cited text no. 4
Rassy J, Bardon C, Dargis L, Côté LP, Corthésy-Blondin L, Mörch CM, et al. Information and communication technology use in suicide prevention: Scoping review (preprint). JMIR Preprints 2021;23:e25288. [doi: 10.2196/preprints.25288].  Back to cited text no. 5


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