Year: 2022 Source: Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications. (2022). 29. SIEC No: 20220684

There is a need to develop, evaluate, and implement interventions that reduce Veteran suicide. Caring Cards (CC) is a novel intervention that integrates aspects of caring contacts and peers (i.e., persons with lived mental health experience). In CC, Veterans meet in a weekly group to create hope-filled cards that are sent to Veterans with mental health concerns. This study will examine feasibility and acceptability of CC with Veterans with a history of and current elevated suicide risk via in-person and virtual modalities and preliminarily evaluate pre/post changes on suicide-specific outcomes.
This 2-year open-trial study will employ a pre/post research design. Recruited Veterans with a history of suicide risk (n = 30) will make up CC groups (card makers) and Veterans currently at high-risk for suicide (n = 50) will be card recipients. Feasibility and acceptability (recruitment, retention, attendance, card receipt rates, and satisfaction questionnaire responses) and pre/post changes on suicide-specific outcomes (i.e., thwarted belonginess, perceived burdensomeness, social connectedness, suicidal ideation, and behavior) will be evaluated. Groups will meet weekly for 90–120 min for three to six months; card recipients will receive one card per month for six months.
This study builds on preliminary data which indicate Veterans are interested in and find participating in CC highly meaningful. This study is innovative as it will target two new Veteran populations and use both in-person and virtual modalities. If feasible and acceptable, a large-scale efficacy trial will be conducted to further examine CC as a suicide prevention intervention for Veterans.