New Study Underscores the Efficacy of Reducing Suicidal Ideation via Telehealth-Supported Decision-making

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Results illustrate the promise of psychiatric care via a telehealth platform to address suicidal ideation, highlighting the efficacy of Brightside Health’s care model and approach to precision prescribing.

SAN FRANCISCO, CASeptember 30, 2022: Brightside Health, a telemedicine platform that offers timely access to personalized treatment, expert providers, and ongoing support for a range of mental health concerns, announced today the publication of a study to examine the impact of a telepsychiatric care platform on reduction in suicidal ideation (SI) over time. The peer-reviewed research, “Telehealth-Supported Decision-making Psychiatric Care for Suicidal Ideation: Longitudinal Observational Study,” was published in the open access journal JMIR Formative Research and revealed that individuals in the treatment group were 4.3 times more likely to have SI remission than those in the control group. These results highlight the efficacy of antidepressant intervention to reduce SI when administered via a telehealth platform with clinical decision support.

The study was led by Brightside Health and included a total of 8581 US-based adult participants seeking treatment for depression and anxiety. In total, 8366 opted to receive treatment, and 215 received check-ins on the platform without treatment. Over the 12-week treatment period, patients received a prescription for at least one psychiatric medication and unlimited access to provider support through anytime messaging and video follow-ups. In conjunction, providers received real-time clinical decision support at treatment onset via the Brightside Health platform, which leverages an empirically derived, proprietary precision prescribing algorithm, along with access to regular data and progress monitoring for each patient.

Historically, telehealth solutions have not been equipped to treat those with suicidal ideation, often lacking the structure, clinical protocols, and oversight necessary to provide safe, effective treatment to people with severe symptoms. This research demonstrates the effectiveness of Brightside Health’s care model and approach to precision prescribing, but also highlights that there is more work and research to be done in order to better understand and care for those with suicidal ideation, including those with active plans. [Mimi Winsberg, MD, cofounder and chief medical officer, Brightside Health]

The study showed that treatment was the biggest predictor of SI remission. Other factors significantly associated with SI remission were older age, being female, being Caucasian, obtaining education beyond high school, and a lower depression severity at baseline. Interestingly, females and those with advanced education beyond high school were approximately 1.4 times likelier to experience remission than males and those without advanced education.

“We are encouraged that these results align with growing literature demonstrating the effectiveness of using a telehealth platform for providing mental health services, especially to address symptoms of suicidal ideation,” said Erin O’Callaghan, coauthor and director of therapy, Brightside Health.

Additionally, Brightside Health has ongoing research to better understand the predictive risk factors for suicide and is launching a program to treat patients with active SI.

Original article:

O’Callaghan E, Mahrer N, Belanger HG, et al. Telehealth-Supported Decision-making Psychiatric Care for Suicidal Ideation: Longitudinal Observational Study. JMIR Form Res 2022;6(9):e37746


DOI: 10.2196/37746

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The content of this communication is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, published by JMIR Publications, is properly cited. JMIR is a registered trademark of JMIR Publications.

About Brightside Health:

Brightside Health is a telemedicine platform focused on developing and delivering a new standard of mental health care. By pairing empathy and expertise with innovative technology, Brightside Health provides a personalized treatment experience for every member. With a care model encompassing precision psychiatry, a clinically proven approach to therapy, and continuous care monitoring from a network of world-class providers, Brightside Health members get better faster and stay that way longer. For more information on Brightside Health, visit


Katie Johnston

PAN Communications for Brightside Health