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RAPID (Remote Approaches to Psychosocial Intervention Delivery)

An RCT on the effectiveness of remote psychosocial interventions for people with a diagnosis of severe mental health, who experience suicidal thoughts and are seen by a home-based treatment team.

Project overview

The RAPID (Remote Approaches to Psychosocial Intervention Delivery) trial is a randomised clinical trial (RCT) looking at the effectiveness of remote psychosocial interventions for people who have a diagnosis of severe mental health, experience suicidal thoughts and are being seen by a home-based treatment team. 

It is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and brings together five sites across the United Kingdom: Manchester, Glasgow, Oxford, East London and North East London. 

The site leads are: 

  The main aims of the RAPID trial are to find out: 

  1. How to reduce avoidable admissions to psychiatric hospital.
  2. How best to help people who experience suicidal thoughts.

To achieve this, we will compare three brief and remotely delivered psychosocial treatments to the standard care people usually receive. 

The study has four ‘arms’, meaning that participants will be randomly allocated by a computer to receive either their usual treatment alone, or one of the three interventions in addition to their usual treatment. These interventions have been adapted from their original version for our own trial context. 

  The three interventions are: 

  • BrighterSide – a smartphone app developed by the Black Dog Institute that aims to help those with suicidal thinking to understand their thoughts and develop strategies to manage them. It is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), a talking therapy which explores the way you think, feel, and behave, and how these are linked.
  • PREVAIL – a structured CBT-based peer support intervention, delivered via telephone or online by a person with their own experiences of mental health issues.
  • SAFETEL – a safety planning approach delivered by assistant psychologists via telephone or online.

Project details

People who have suicidal thoughts are more likely to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital following contact with crisis services.

Hospital admissions can have significant costs for an individual, including loss of relationships and employment, and experiences of stigma and traumatic events.

Psychiatric inpatients may experience further risks when being admitted to hospital as they tend to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 because of other physical health problems and effects of medications. 

There is an urgent need for treatment in reducing suicidal thoughts, along with reducing the additional risks associated with hospital admissions. 

Remote interventions (those which are delivered online or over the phone) may be a way to improve existing forms of support for people who struggle with suicidal thoughts, as well as making treatment more accessible for them 

A McPin research is providing a monthly reflective practice space for the peer support workers involved in the trial.

They are also a lived experience advisory forum member for the central team and chair the lived experience advisory panel forums at the four individual sites.  

Find out more on the Psychosis Research Unit website, or for more information on McPin’s involvement please email [email protected].

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We are always excited to hear from others who want to collaborate on mental health research. From delivering peer research to helping you with public involvement strategies and providing training, get in touch to chat.