Mindfulness for Reducing Everyday Suicidal Thoughts (Mind-REST): A Daily Mindfulness Intervention for Individuals at High Risk for Suicide

Ana Rabasco, Fordham University


As the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, suicide is a significant public health concern. Therefore, it is essential to develop interventions that effectively target suicidal thoughts and behaviors and can be easily implemented with high-risk populations. The current research investigated the feasibility and acceptability of a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a brief, daily mindfulness intervention aimed at reducing suicidal ideation and behaviors among individuals who are currently suicidal, compared with a sham mindfulness control condition. Participants included 82 adults with recent suicidal ideation or behaviors who completed a baseline questionnaire and were then randomized into either the intervention or control condition. Participants subsequently completed 14 days of mindfulness or sham-mindfulness exercises, along with a daily diary survey each evening. After the 14 days, participants completed a post-intervention survey and then a follow-up survey one month later. The intervention was shown to be feasible and acceptable, as evidenced by high study completion and intervention compliance rates (88% and 89%, respectively) and participant feedback. However, the preliminary efficacy of the intervention was not supported, as participants in the intervention group did not have significantly lower levels of suicidal ideation severity compared with participants in the control group at any timepoint (daily, post-intervention, or one-month follow-up) once relevant covariates were included in the models. Participants in the intervention group also did not have a significantly lower rate of presence of suicidal behaviors at post-intervention or one-month follow-up. Finally, change in distress tolerance did not function as a mediator of the relationship between treatment condition and suicidal ideation severity at post-intervention or one-month follow-up. This study’s findings suggest that 14 days of brief mindfulness exercises may not be sufficient to decrease suicidality. Future research could extend this work by recruiting a larger and more diverse sample and by examining the impact of a slightly more involved, although still brief, mindfulness intervention on suicidality.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology|Counseling Psychology|Mental health|Behavioral psychology

Recommended Citation

Rabasco, Ana, "Mindfulness for Reducing Everyday Suicidal Thoughts (Mind-REST): A Daily Mindfulness Intervention for Individuals at High Risk for Suicide" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29326301.