Calma is an application designed for the prevention and management of emotional crises with or without suicide ideas suffered by adolescents and young people. It is based on tools of the Behavioral Dialectical Therapy (DBT), a psychotherapy program that proved to be effective in reducing self-injurious behavior.
In addition to going through the crisis, Calma aims to reduce the vulnerability that predisposes people to suffer new crises. It also provides the user with the addresses of nearby healthcare centers and telephone numbers that can be accessed at the time of the crisis.
CALMA is intended to be used as a tool in the framework of a mental health treatment, but under no circumstances does it replace the psychological or psychiatric care of a professional. All user information is anonymous and meets security standards. CALMA was designed by a group of medical researchers who are experts in the area of self-injurious or suicidal behavior, and the interventions that are used are supported by scientific evidence for the management of this type of behavior.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a therapy derived from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, and is part of the so-called "third generation", "third wave" or contextual therapies. It was designed for the treatment of people with self-injurious or suicidal behaviors and instrumental non-suicidal behaviors (parasuicidal), later expanding its indications for other mental health problems.
Skills training is one of the DBT strategies. Starting from the premise that a person in crisis has difficulty solving problems, the tools to be used in CALMA are based on DBT skills, in particular on emotional regulation skills. CALMA does not replace individual psychotherapy or a DBT treatment program, but is a complement both for people who are undergoing treatment and for people who have not yet accessed a DBT program or a particular treatment, and may be the gateway to a treatment or the health system.
CALMA offers EMOTIONAL REGULATION strategies, especially in DISTRESS TOLERANCE. DISTRESS TOLERANCE strategies help to manage the crisis. Most mental health treatments are aimed at changing the events that cause DISTRESS. Pain and DISTRESS are part of life, sometimes they cannot be avoided or fully eradicated. The inability to accept this fact increases the suffering (turning it into a paradox). Sometimes it is better to accept reality and tolerate it, than to reject it and not tolerate it.
On the other hand, tolerating that DISTRESS is the first step for any attempt to change oneself. EMOTIONAL REGULATION skills are skills to identify emotional states without trying to change them, without wanting them to be different. Painful situations cannot always be processed; many times we are not at the right time or in the right place to deal with them. Sometimes temporary solutions are adequate. When a person faces an emotional crisis, there are two options: either solve the problem at that time (Problem solving), or go through the crisis (Regulate emotion or tolerate it). Most of the time, we live tolerating pain and not solving problems. CALMA focuses on overcoming the crisis without making matters worse.
Because it is one of the main causes of death worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year approximately 800,000 people commit suicide worldwide and that by 2020, the number of deaths from this cause will grow by 50%. In Argentina, the latest statistics show that more than 3,000 people commit suicide each year. To illustrate this, let's say that the deaths by suicides in our country double the number homicides. As a consequence, it is very important to deal with this health issue.
Because the number of suicides in such age range has increased significantly in the last 15 years in Argentina. In 2014, almost a third of the people who commited suicide were between 15 and 24 years old. In this range, suicide is the second most frequent cause of death.
There are several reasons. Firstly, rapid intervention methods are needed to provide support during the suicidal process (transition from idea to suicidal behavior) since for most people this process lasts 10 minutes or less. On the other hand, the high penetration of smartphones in adolescents and young people in Argentina ensures an accessible platform to timely reach this population, and ensuring the availability of evidence-based interventions spreads access among all adolescents and young people in Argentina, with no social differences.
Improving accessibility is essential. Although in almost all Argentine provinces, the number of suicides among adolescents is growing, those with the highest rates are Neuquén, Chubut, Santa Cruz, Tierra del Fuego, Salta and Jujuy, where the number of Mental Health professionals is less than in the City or Province of Buenos Aires.
In general, suicide crises do not have a single cause, but are the result of several stressors that overcome your abilities to solve some problems. In many cases, its manifestation is associated with conditions such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse, which are usually not diagnosed or treated. It is important to note that most people who receive assistance for these mental health conditions live satisfying lives. The fact that you're now going through a suicide crisis doesn't mean you're bad, crazy or weak. These crises appear when you feel such a pain or suffering that you cannot deal with your problems at that time. There are tools and treatments for this problem; CALMA is an application designed to be a part of such treatment.
Something to keep in mind when you are concerned that a person is going through a suicide crisis is changes in their behavior or the presence of completely new behaviors. This is most worrisome when it arises after a traumatic event, loss, or painful event. Most people who are going through a suicide crisis show warning or alarm signs, either through what they say or what they do./p>
Some changes in their behaviour that should catch your attention are the increase of drug use or alcohol consumption, reckless actions, the abandonment of activities that the person used to do; isolation from family and friends, sleep alteration (too much sleep or lack of sleep), visits or phone calls to people as a farewell, giving away their precious possessions as a farewell gift, self-injuries, search of materials or means to commit suicide. Sometimes, people who are undergoing a suicide crisis may say they feel like a burden for other people, that they feel trapped, that they experience unbearable pain and that they don't have a reason to live.
First, take the person seriously. Take them to an emergency mental health support group where they can be assisted. Help them eliminate dangerous items at hand.