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) training frontline workers to effectively engage and work with at-risk individuals;
3) developing mental health training program curriculum focused on suicide assessment, management, and treatments; and
4) collaborating with community providers to encourage provider and patient involvement in education, prevention and clinical research efforts.
Guided by the principles of social justice, client self-determination, and the respect and dignity of all individuals, the SPRP is the only center of its kind focused on having a direct impact on the lives of individuals at risk of suicide through a multi-pronged, collaborative approach that coordinates the expertise and experience of researchers, practitioners, and community advocates to advance knowledge and develop and improve translatability and adaptation of interventions to mitigate risk of suicide.
The SPRP offers a number of trainings and workshops offered to students in mental health graduate programs (i.e., social work, psychology). 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
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 are focused on 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). These studies examine acceptability, feasibility, translatability, and adaption of the interventions.
- 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
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. Upcoming projects in Croatia and Barcelona will similarly investigate these issues.
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.
- Hunger Relief International, Guatemala
- International Social Work Solutions
- Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, Peru
- Ramon Llull/Pere Tarres, Barcelona
- University of Zagreb
- Croatian Institute of Public Health
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.