There’s hope: Catholic uni’s suicide intervention therapy works

A Catholic university’s suicide intervention programme is doing well.

The Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) offers a therapeutic framework for treating suicidal patients.

The professor leading the work, David Jobes, says a recent meta-analysis of clinical trials the programme is “Well Supported for reducing suicidal ideation [suicidal thoughts] per Centers for Disease Control criteria.”

The framework outperformed alternative interventions in the trials.

“We are thrilled with the findings of this meta-analysis,” Jobes says.

“Our mission in our treatment research is to save lives through effective suicide-focused clinical care.”

The CAMS method “quickly reduces suicidal thoughts (in six to eight sessions) and reduces overall symptoms of distress, depression, and hopelessness,” the university says.

CAMS emphasises collaboration with patients, involving them as a “co-author” in their own treatment plans.

The meta-analysis of clinical trials was performed at Idaho State University and published in the peer-reviewed journal Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior.

Associate professor Joshua Swift and his team reviewed nine national and international studies with data from 749 patients; the CAMS intervention was compared to normal or alternative treatments.

“The results showed that CAMS, in comparison to alternative interventions, resulted in significantly lower suicidal ideation and general distress, considerably higher treatment acceptability, and notably higher hope/lower hopelessness,” Swift found.

Jobes says the analysis underlines the importance of treating suicidal ideation.

He says the Swift team’s “incredibly rigorous work” clearly shows CAMS provides highly effective care for the largest challenge we face in suicide prevention today.

He defines this challenge as “the massive population of people who struggle with serious suicidal thoughts.”

Jobes says so far nearly 20,000 clinicians have been trained in the suicide intervention therapy.

His aim is “to train many more so we can help decrease suicide-related suffering and deaths around the world.”

“CAMS is patient-centric,” he explains.

Relationship issues, vocational problems and issues of self-worth that make people suicidal are all issues the programme helps with.

“We emphasize empathy, collaboration, honesty and a singular focus on treating and eliminating suicidal thoughts and behaviors.”

“CAMS creates a strong therapeutic alliance and it also invariably motivates patients to fight for their lives.”

In the final phase of care, the CAMS framework “focuses on plans, goals, and hope for the future — a life worth living with purpose and meaning.”



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