It’s not uncommon: a patient or family member is in severe distress and we need to figure out what to do and find resources right away. This week SAMHSA the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, released an excellent free app that helps us during difficult moments when we need to think about a person’s risk for suicide and also helps us find mental health treatment centers near wherever we want to find them. I’ve downloaded it and tried it out and it is truly excellent. While no app can predict suicidality, this one does help us remember things to think about. And while no app can create resources (or insurance benefits) where none exist, it sure helps to have a ready and fairly comprehensive list of the places to try. Check it out: go to http://store.samhsa.gov/apps/suicidesafe/
For 17 years, since the FDA black box warning about suicidality with antidepressants, our community has quoted data that downplays this concern. We were wrong. We were deceived. Antidepressants can be lifesaving, but there really is a duty to warn.