Research is always looking for ways to better the lives of those who choose to participate in a study. Under current guidelines, individuals who may be suicidal are not permitted to enter a clinical trial. There are many reasons for this, but the safety of the volunteer is at the heart of research practices.
During the screening of possible volunteers, many questions are asked to make sure the individual meets criteria, one of them being suicidal ideation. STARR 911 is designed to identify those who may be having thoughts of self-harm and assures they are given helpful information to assist those in need. Instead of simply stating they do not meet criteria and complete the call, the operator can either give the number to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (800-273-TALK) or given a “warm” hand off to a suicide prevention specialist.
The reality is a strong link exists between mental illness and suicide. Up to 20% of individuals with a diagnosis of mental illness die by suicide. Approximately 90% of those who complete suicide experience mental illness. People considering suicide usually seek help: approximately 64% of individuals who attempt suicide visit a doctor within a month before their attempt. Having a chronic condition increases the odds of suicide by 363%.
With clinical research call centers fielding thousands of calls on a yearly basis, the purpose of project STARR 911 is to build collaboration between clinical research and suicide prevention. Research wants to be a part of the solution to suicide prevention.