The Meyerhoff Lab is led by Jonah Meyerhoff, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist, and focuses on developing novel technology-based interventions for suicide prevention and affective symptom self-management.
Our focus on technology-based interventions stems from our overall mission to increase access to evidence-based psychological care. We pursue this goal by developing tools that are scalable and that are meant to be used independent of whether an individual is engaged in formal mental health treatments like psychotherapeutic or psychopharmacological interventions. Throughout the design and evaluation of our digital mental health interventions, we rely on human-centered design research methods and partner with individuals who have lived experience of mental health symptoms to develop tools and services that meet the unique needs of different communities.
Our lab’s past and current clinical research spans topics such as the evaluation of cognitive-behavioral interventions for seasonal affective disorder, culturally-responsive assessment of suicidal thoughts among refugee populations, text messaging-based self-management interventions for depression and anxiety, and text messaging-based interventions for suicide prevention.
Young adults in the U.S. have the highest and fastest growing rates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, but the lowest rates of mental health care. Attitudinal barriers, such as a low perceived need for treatment, time constraints, and preferences for self-management, are some of the primary reasons for low rates of mental health treatment among this age group. However, despite low utilization of traditional mental health care, young adults are interested in using self-directed digital technologies to help manage their mental health symptoms.
Safety planning is a preventive mental health intervention that is a clinical best practice for individuals experiencing thoughts of suicide and has been shown to be effective for reducing the likelihood of suicidal behaviors, however, it is often only delivered once an individual has made contact with a mental health professional and disclosed suicidal thoughts and behaviors. This gate-kept model of intervention means that most young adults who experience suicidal thoughts and behaviors will never receive the safety planning intervention.
To increase access to this suicide prevention intervention, the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies — in partnership with Mental Health America and individuals with lived experience of suicidal thoughts and behaviors — will develop an automated and self-directed safety planning intervention that is integrated into a digital space where young adults already spend a significant amount of time: text messages.
This project aims to design and pilot an automated interactive safety planning service delivered via SMS that yields highly personalized safety plans and supports use over time.
- Project Name: mHealth for suicide prevention: Design, development, and feasibility of a scalable SMS-based safety planning intervention
- Funding: K08MH128640 (Meyerhoff)
U.S. Suicide Prevention Resources
Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Description: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides emotional support to individuals over the phone, text, or chat, who are in suicidal or emotional crisis 24 hours, 7 days a week. Your call is always free.
Contact Information (call or text): 9-8-8
- For Deaf or Hard of Hearing individuals, please use your preferred relay service or dial 7-1-1 then 9-8-8
- Online chat: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
Crisis Text Line
Description: The Crisis Text Line is a crisis helpline that delivers emotional support to individuals over text message by connecting them with a crisis counselor. It’s free and available 24/7.
Contact Information: Text ‘GO’ to 741-741
The Trevor Project
Description: Helpline specializing in young people identifying as LGBTQIA+. Free and available 24/7.
- Send an SMS/Text containing the word 'start' to 678-678
- Online chat: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/help
The Trans Lifeline
Description: Helpline specializing in peer support for trans individuals. Confidential and free.
Contact Information: 1-877-565-8860
Description: Peer support from individuals with lived experience. Most are free, confidential, and many are 24/7.
List of Warmlines: https://warmline.org/warmdir.html#directory
Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
Description: This treatment locator helps you search for either mental health or substance abuse resources by state, specific services provided, forms of payment, and other individual preferences.
Website: http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/Contact Information: 1-800-662-4357