Suicide Prevention Research Program
The SPRP strives to serve as a coordinating force for translational research in suicide based on a strategy of developing and supporting opportunities for interdisciplinary investigations; collaborations between academia and practice, scientists and clinicians; and, training of early investigators and practitioners in new suicide prevention models and interventions.
The Suicide Prevention Research Program's (SPRP) vision is to improve the lives of individuals at risk of suicide through research, practice, education, and training.
The SPRP focuses on:
1) developing new interventions aimed at improving the treatment engagement and utilization of individuals at risk of suicide;
2) developing and delivering culturally responsive training programs for mental health and lay professional focused on suicide assessment and intervention nationally and internationally; and
3) collaborating with community providers to encourage provider and patient involvement in education, prevention and clinical research efforts.
Suicide is a global phenomenon, with over 700,000 people dying by suicide every year, or one person every 40 seconds. Effective interventions implemented at population, sub-population and individual levels can curb rising rates of suicide. The SPRP aims to develop, test and implement interventions gearing towards reducing global suicide rates across and to build a network of helping professionals prepared to effectively identify, assess, engage and intervene with a- risk individuals. Through collaboration and coordination with individuals with lived experience, community organizations, practitioners, researchers, and scholars, the SPRP is the only program of its kind to approach suicide prevention through an ecosystemic, multidisciplinary approach that is positioned to improve translatability and adaptation of interventions to mitigate risk of suicide.
The SPRP offers a number of trainings and workshops to academic institutions, mental health organizations, and students in mental health. Ranging from 1-day intensive trainings to 2-week workshops, topics include:
- Teaching Mental Health Professions to Identify, Assess, and Treat Youth Suicide
- Teaching Mental Health Professions to Identify, Assess, and Treat Adult Suicide
- Teaching Mental Health Professions to Identify, Assess, and Treat Older Adult Suicide
- Integrating Suicide Prevention and Intervention into Graduate Curriculum: Strategies for Educators
- Integrating Suicide Prevention and Intervention into Mental Health Organizations: Strategies for Helping Professionals
- Cultivating a Culture of Health: Supporting Colleagues and Co-Workers
- Training lay Professionals to Identify, Assess, and Manage Suicide Risk
Through collaborations with practitioners, administrators, and advocates in the community, the SPRP strives to improve the lives of individuals at risk of suicide by advancing knowledge to inform risk identification, promote protective factors, develop empirical and evidence-based clinical practice, and increase the mental health treatment engagement and adherence of at-risk individuals.
Research demonstrates that individuals at risk of suicide greatly underutilize mental health treatment. In an effort to develop interventions to improve the treatment engagement of at-risk individuals and ensure they receive the treatment needed to mitigate that risk, prior studies through the SPRP have focused on learning about treatment adherence of high-risk clients, gaining clinical staff perspective on barriers to engaging high- risk clients in treatment and on facilitators of treatment engagement.
- FEGS Health and Human Services
- Mental Health Association of New York State
- Office of Mental Health of New York State
Current research projects through the SPRP focus on three main domains: 1) the development, testing, and implementation of interventions aimed to improve the mental health treatment engagement of individuals at risk of suicide across populations (age groups, cultures, clinical presentation); 2) the development and adaptation of culturally responsive training programs for mental health professionals to improve knowledge, attitudes and skills for effectively working with at-risk individuals; and 3) building capacity in under-resourced, vulnerable communities where mental health services and providers are lacking.
- Mental Health Association of Westchester
- Department of Psychiatry; Division of Health Services Research, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
- MH-RITES Center, University of Houston
- Her Migrant Hub
Suicide is a global phenomenon. However, risk and protective factors for suicide vary across cultures, as do attitudes towards mental health issues and perceptions of formalized mental health treatment. Through the SPRP, studies have been conducted on risk and protective factors for suicide and barriers and facilitators of treatment engagement to better understand the needs of local populations and inform the development of culturally relevant interventions. To date, projects are being conducted in Guatemala and Peru.
The second area of the SPRPs international work is on providing trainings to helping professionals in the community working with at-risk individuals and faculty and graduate students in mental health graduate programs on suicide assessment, management, and treatment. These international collaborations also seek to develop graduate curricula focused on suicide assessment, management, and treatment and training faculty to teach this material in order to ensure future generations of mental health professionals capable of effectively engaging and working with at-risk individuals.
Current International Collaborators:
- Hunger Relief International, Guatemala
- International Social Work Solutions
- Trust for Youth and Child Leadership International
- Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, Peru
- Centro Peruano de Psicologia Integral y Psicoterapia
- Suleyman Demirel University Isparta, Turkey
SPRP is a multidisciplinary network of researchers, practitioners, and community advocates committed to raising awareness and improving the treatment of individuals at risk of suicide.