Suicidality in seriously mentally ill clients of two intensive community mental health programs

John Langley, Margaret Gehrs, Donald Wasylenki, Carolyn S Dewa, Sergio Rueda, Sean Rourke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of two intensive community mental health programs on the suicidality of clients with serious mental illness. Eighty individuals with severe and persistent mental illness were enrolled in this randomized controlled study comparing two models of intensive community support: Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) and Intensive Case Management (ICM). Suicidal ideation and behaviours were measured using the Modified Scale for Suicide Ideation. Study clients underwent comprehensive interviews at baseline and were reinterviewed 9 and 18 months later. The Dartmouth Assertive Community Treatment Scale (DACTS) instrument was used to gain more insight into the specific ACT and ICM program structures and characteristics that provide crisis support and suicide intervention. A chart review of 2 randomly chosen months of service looked at the on-call after-hours pager use of ACT program clients. The ACT intervention was effective in reducing suicidal ideation over 18 months. In addition, the prevalence of suicidal ideation was significantly lower at 18 months in ACT clients versus ICM clients. This is the first study to suggest that ACT may confer some additional benefit in terms of reduced suicidality in clients with severe and persistent mental illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-164
Number of pages14
JournalCanadian Journal of Community Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Suicidality in seriously mentally ill clients of two intensive community mental health programs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this