About Linda Dimeff, PhD
Linda is the 2011 recipient of the ISITDBT Cindy J. Sanderson Outstanding Educator Award. She is a standing member of the Mental Health Services Research grant review committee for the National Institute of Mental Health and is Adjunct Clinical Faculty at the University of Washington. Linda has received over 20 federal grants to facilitate the dissemination of evidence-based therapies and has published over 50 peer-reviewed publications.
In 2018 there were 48,344 suicide deaths in the US, an age adjusted rate of 14.2 per 100,000 population. In the same year there were nearly 1.2 million suicide attempts. Since the summer of 2019, virtual care has increased 160% with 50% of that growth happening after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 93% of people have reported at least one behavior change since the outbreak started. During COVID-19, studies have shown that “27% are very or extremely worried of the coronavirus”, “9% report losing their job since the start of the pandemic,” and “51% report having a CDC-identified underlying condition that puts them at greater risk.”
An Analysis by Well Being Trust and The Robert Graham Center found that “The COVID Pandemic Could Lead to 75,000 Additional Deaths from Alcohol and Drug Misuse and Suicide.” Another report identified three factors leading to deaths of despair which were 1) Economic Failure & Unemployment 2) Social Isolation and 3) Uncertainty of Life or Next Steps.
For over 50 years, the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) has been on the forefront of advancing suicidology as a science. Dr. Linda Dimeff, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Jaspr Health was selected as 1 of 25 experts presenting over 100 concurrent sessions at the American Association of Suicidology 2020 Academy. This was a record-breaking event with over 2,800 registered attendees gathered to discuss new ways of preventing suicide and creating lives worth living, built on a framework of equity.
Dr. Dimeff’s Findings
Dr. Dimeff’s presentation was titled “Lived Experience + Technology = The Future of Emergency Services for Adults in Suicidal Crises” and highlighted the current problems in care for individuals seeking help for suicide crises in their local emergency department (ED). These issues often include sitting in a waiting room for many hours to even days before seeing a provider and frequently giving up and leaving before finally seeing someone.
In January, Jaspr Health began a rigorous RCT comparing care-as-usual to care-as-usual plus Jaspr in EDs at two healthcare systems in the mid-west. The RCT ran from January 24th to February 26th and included 31 participants before it was halted due to COVID-19. Comparing Jaspr Health to care-as-usual, the study found significant increase in the delivery of four suicide prevention best practices for suicidal ED patients and the thoroughness of their delivery. They also clearly measured significant decrease in distress and agitation; significant increase in learning to cope more effectively with current and future suicidal thoughts; and significantly high ratings of overall satisfaction of their ED experience. 100% recommended Jaspr Health for other suicidal ED patients.
The study found a 25% reduction in distress level and 34% reduction in agitation level between the initial baseline assessment and post-Jaspr use with 0 adverse events. 100% of participants reported that they would recommend Jaspr Health to others, 94% wanted to access content once they were home from the ED.
About Jaspr Health
Jaspr Health is a tablet-based intervention experience for patients, which allows scalable, standardized access to four of the top evidence-based practices for suicide prevention (list the 4 here). Jaspr and Jaz (two options for a digital assistant) introduce patients to a variety of menu options for use while in the ED, including a “Comfort and Skills” library designed to distract, de-agitate, and teach patients valuable evidence-based techniques such as distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and mindfulness. The digital agent also guides patients to a “Shared Stories” library, with messages of hope and wisdom from diverse people with lived experience of suicide crises.
To learn more, visit https://jasprhealth.com.
The American Association of Suicidology is the world’s largest membership-based suicide prevention organization. Founded in 1968 by Edwin S. Shneidman, PhD, AAS promotes the research of suicide and its prevention, public awareness programs, public education and training for professionals and volunteers. The membership of AAS includes mental health and public health professionals, researchers, suicide prevention and crisis intervention centers, school districts, crisis center volunteers, survivors of suicide loss, attempt survivors, and a variety of laypersons who have in interest in suicide prevention.
You can learn more about AAS at www.suicidology.org.