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Web-based tool can keep suicidal thoughts away

 2015-11-20 05:33:58.0

chart New York: �Like an apple a day can keep a doctor away, a web-based tool to help young doctors cope with stress can help the common man deal with high-pressure situations in life, say researchers led by an Indian-origin scientist.�According to Srijan Sen, faculty member with University of Michigan, web-based cognitive behavioural therapy (wCBT) can offer others in stressful situations a free, confidential way to prevent depression and suicidal thoughts. �This is the first study to show that wCBT can reduce suicidal ideation, or suicidal thoughts, in training doctors,� Sen said.�The free web-based tool offers a digital, streamlined form of the "talk therapy" that mental health professionals provide in office visits. ��It's called MoodGYM. This is a relatively risk-free intervention to help interns recognise and treat depression,� Sen noted.�Medical interns make an ideal population to study wCBT's effects because all of them experience a predictable sharp rise in stress and pressure with the start of their residency. The findings suggest that such an tool could help others in high-stress, high-pressure positions. Teaching hospitals and medical schools could use the new results to guide mental health programmes for interns, residents and medical students. �Or if nothing else, interns and others can use such web-based tools to help themselves, the authors noted. According to first study author Connie Guille, this type of intervention is well-suited to this population because "the majority of interns won't seek traditional mental health treatment�.�Sen and Guille tested the app on 199 interns. All volunteered to take part, and half were randomly assigned to use the wCBT group.�Sen and colleagues are working to build on the success of the wCBT test by developing an app designed specifically for medical trainees. �There's a good chance that it would be helpful for all populations undergoing some sort of stress and should be explored and tested in these populations in the future,� Sen concluded in a study recently published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. (IANS)

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