Webinar Archives

On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time ICRC-S presented “Exploring the Impact of Suicide Prevention Research in Criminal Justice Systems,” with speakers Dr. Marc Swogger of the University of Rochester and Dr. Robert Canning of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Incarceration has been identified as a risk factor for suicide and studies have shown that suicide is significantly higher among people that have had contact with the criminal justice system, even if they were never convicted or served time. In this webinar, Dr. Swogger spoke about psychopathy in relation to substance use treatment, violenceoverall psychopathology, and suicidality in forensic populations. Dr. Canning moderated the webinar and discussed issues of conducting research in prisons.     


Date: May 29th, 2015

Title: Updates & Suicide Prevention Programs in Correctional Settings

Description: The ICRC-S RTI CoP teams each had the opportunity to share 3 minutes worth of updates, then discuss and ask questions about one another’s work. Then, Dr. Robert Canning provided a presentation on Suicide Prevention Programs in Correctional Settings. Designing and implementing suicide prevention programs in correctional settings presents unique challenges to public health practitioners and clinicians. Although one might imagine that having a “captive” audience would make public health campaigns simpler, but suicide prevention in the correctional environment is not as “simple” as infectious disease prevention. Jail and prison administrators (as well as other stakeholders) need education about suicide as a preventable death. Inmates are often thought of as a deviant population, and the stigma of mental illness and suicide is an important consideration. Traditional methods of reaching a population at risk using educational materials and information campaigns may not be possible in a correctional environment. I’ll present the epidemiology of suicide in jails and prison and we can discuss best practices for suicide prevention in correctional settings.

About the Speaker: Dr. Robert Canning completed his PhD in Clinical Psychology in 1993. After clinical training he completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Psychiatric Epidemiology working with a longitudinal study of heart transplant recipients and their caregivers. He has worked as a clinician in the VA system and at the UC Davis Medical Center where he worked with liver transplant patients. Since 2001 he has been with the California Dept. of Corrections & Rehabilitation, initially treating HIV-positive inmates and since 2005 being the department’s suicide prevention coordinator. He has had primary responsibility for collection and analysis of suicide and self-harm data for the department as well as designing and delivering suicide risk assessment training to hundreds of correctional clinicians. He has also been a trainer for the American Association of Suicidology delivering the Recognizing and Responding to Suicide Risk course for clinicians since 2007.

Full Recording (link is external)

Access the slides

On Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time the ICRC-S hosted the webinar"Exploring the Impact of Suicide Prevention Research in Faith-Based Communities" with speakers Dr. Sherry Molock of George Washington University and Rev. Phyllis Jackson of the Rochester, New York area. Faith communities can work to prevent suicide by enhancing many of the activities that are already central to their mission.   Dr. Molock shared her research on depression and suicidal behaviors in African Americans and the role of faith in healing.   Rev. Jackson talked about her experiences in implementing health ministries as a foundation for suicide prevention. This session was moderated by Dr. Ann Marie White of the University of Rochester Medical Center.  

About Our Presenters

Reverend Sherry Davis Molock, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychology at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Dr. Molock graduated with honors from Dartmouth College in 1979, earned a master's degree (1981) and a doctoral degree in clinical/community psychology (1985) from the University of Maryland, College Park. In May 2000, she graduated with honors with a Masters of Divinity degree from Howard University. Dr. Molock teaches undergraduate and doctoral courses in the field of clinical psychology and conducts research on depression and suicidal behaviors in African Americans. Dr. Molock is currently developing HIV and suicide prevention programs for youth in African American churches.  Her work has appeared in a number of professional journals, including the Journal of Black Psychology, the Journal of Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior and the American Psychologist.  She has served on a number of local and national boards, including Adoptive Families of America, the National Organization of People of Color against Suicide (NOPCAS) and the American Association of Suicidology.  She also serves as a grant reviewer for NIMH, NIDA, and SAMHSA.  Dr. Molock and her husband, Guy Molock, Jr., are the founding pastors of the Beloved Community Church in Accokeek, Maryland.

Reverend Phyllis D. Jackson, R.N., B.S. is a registered nurse, an ordained minister, and Pastor at Joint Heirs Kingdom Ministries in Rochester, New York. She is a community engagement specialist at the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency. A focus of her work is engaging faith communities and the community at large around health issues such as cardiovascular health and social determinants.  She is founder and CEO of His Hands Free Community Outreach Center at Grace United Methodist Church.  Rev. Jackson is a founder of the Interdenominational Health Ministry Coalition (IHMC).  IHMC's mission is to establish the truth that health is a spiritual issue, and to promote health and wholeness of mind, body and spirit.  She has been a lead partner of the Renewing of the Mind workshop series that aims to advance awareness of mental health and to support mental health ministries in faith settings. She is certified in gerontology and in HIV/AIDS testing, counseling, and education. She is a certified diversity trainer.  She sits on several boards and serves a variety of local agencies, advising these entities around various topics of health improvement. For instance, she is a member of the African American Health Coalition, as well as the Latino Health Coalition of the Greater Rochester Area.  She works on the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS.  She volunteers with the National Kidney Association and works with her local Scleroderma Foundation.  Rev. Jackson has received several community recognition awards.


Ann Marie White, Ed.D. is Director of the Office of Mental Health Promotion (OMHP) and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She leads department-level change initiatives to deepen Psychiatry's community engagement via service, education and research.  OMHP oversees community, consumer and diversity affairs for Psychiatry faculty and staff. Dr. White directs local and national training activities in collaborative research to infuse scientific inquiries with mental health-related policy and program activities of communities. She promotes mental health supporting behaviors, services utilization and mental illness prevention strategies within community-based settings.  She conducts multimedia education to develop civic engagement among youth and young adults from traditionally disadvantaged backgrounds. Her research interests focus on successful transitions into adulthood. Her 10+ years of research experiences in developmental psychology emphasized the role of community settings such as childcare, arts centers and after-school programs in the development of children and adolescents.

View the slides

On Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time the ICRC-S conducted the webinar "Exploring the Impact of Suicide Prevention Research in Schools," with speakers Holly Wilcox, Ph.D. of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Peter Wyman, Ph.D. of the University of Rochester Medical Center.  In partnership with families and communities, our nation's schools are obvious places to identify youth at risk of suicide, and they can also play a critical role in preventing youth suicide.  The webinar speakers addressed suicide prevention research that is being conducted in schools, discuss the known impact the research has made, and identify needed research and practice going forward.  This session was moderated by Nathan Belyeu of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. 

About Our Presenters

Holly Wilcox, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and the Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has been involved in implementing and evaluating school-based prevention approaches, including the evaluation of the long-term impact of the Good Behavior Game intervention. Dr. Wilcox is the principal investigator of a large randomized trial funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to study the effectiveness of delivering depression education in high school health education classes on knowledge, stigma and mental health service utilization. She leads the evaluation of the State of Maryland's Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention Network (MD-SPIN), a Garrett Lee Smith State Youth Suicide Prevention project. Dr. Wilcox is co-chair of the Suicide Prevention Task Group of the National Network of Depression Centers and teaches a course (Suicide as a Public Health Problem) in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She also serves as a scientific advisor for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Dr. Wilcox has published extensively on the epidemiology, etiology, and prevention of suicidal behaviors.

Peter Wyman, Ph.D. is a Professor in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Wyman is Director of the School and Community-Based Prevention Laboratory (Department of Psychiatry), University of Rochester School of Medicine, and on the faculty of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide. His lab has an established record of NIH funding to develop and test community-based interventions with a focus on preventing behavioral and emotional problems including suicidal behavior in youth underserved by traditional mental health services. In 2013, Dr. Wyman was an expert panelist for the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and has served on the scientific advisory board of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention since 2005. Dr. Wyman also has expertise in community-partnered research and served as Chair of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Internal Review Board of the University of Rochester from 2004 - 2008. In 2012, he received the Excellence in Suicide Prevention Award from the Suicide Prevention Center of New York State. Since 2007, Dr. Wyman has been lead researcher for the Sources of Strength Program, having completed two randomized trials funded by NIMH with over 50 secondary schools in New York State, focused on underserved urban, rural, and Native American communities.


Nathan Belyeu is a Senior Prevention Specialist at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). Belyeu has a wide array of experiences in creating, implementing, and evaluating youth and adult suicide prevention programs across multiple settings, including middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities, and community organizations. Belyeu's work has specifically focused on at risk youth with a special interest in the intersections of LGBTQ identity, family rejection, homelessness and the risk of suicide. He has served on the National Advisory Board of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center since 2013. Prior to coming to SPRC in 2014, Belyeu served as the Education Director at The Trevor Project where he created and implemented suicide prevention and awareness programs with a focus on vulnerable LGBTQ youth and young adults.


Date: March 27th, 2015

Title: Collective Impact and the Collaboration Multiplier

Description:  David Phillips from FSG’s San Francisco office will talk about how  existing approaches are not solving our most pressing social problems. Many organizations work hard but in isolation, disconnected from the expertise and resources of their peers in the community. In order to create lasting solutions to social problems on a large scale, organizations — including those in the education, government, nonprofit, and business sectors — need to coordinate their efforts and work together around a clearly defined goal. 

This approach, known as collective impact, is a significant shift from the social sector’s current paradigm of "isolated impact." The underlying premise of collective impact is that no single organization can create large-scale, lasting social change alone. In his presentation, David Phillips will describe how coalitions from around the country are successfully using collective impact. David will begin by discussing the theory of collective impact, and then dive into a few “how to” components of collective impact.

Annie Lyles from the Prevention Institute will talk about their tool, the Collaboration Multiplier: No one sector can prevent violence on its own and almost every department in city government can contribute to safety, from social services, public health,  to probation, public works, and workforce development. Private sectors such as business, the faith community and news media can also contribute in important ways. Collaboration Multiplier is a Prevention Institute tool that clarifies these connections and identifies joint strategies.  It can be challenging to harness the diverse skills, expertise and assets of so many groups with distinct perspectives, goals and funding streams, so Collaboration Multiplier was developed as a concrete process for people to develop trust, and better appreciate each other’s perspective and approach. Based on interviews with 33 government employees in 14 cities, this tool articulates how various agencies have a stake in preventing violence and suggests techniques for recruiting different sectors.

Full Recording (link is external)

PowerPoint Slides


·         The Collaboration Multiplier tool from Prevention Institute (link is external)

·         Making Connections for Mental Health and Well-Being among Men and Boys in the U.S (link is external). (Prevention Institute)

·         Collective Impact Forum (link is external)

·         Guide to Evaluating Collective Impact (link is external)


Co-Sponsored by the Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention (ICRC-S) and the University of Michigan Injury Center

icrc-s_banner_306x46.png    um_injury_center_logo6-14_mini.jpg

About the webinar:
The ICRC-S presented "Exploring the Impact of Suicide Prevention Research in the Workplace," on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The webinar featured speakers Steven Stack, Ph.D. professor at Wayne State University and Director of the Center for Suicide Research and Allison Milner, Ph.D. Research Fellow at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne. The presenters discussed research that is being conducted in the workplace, explaining the impact this research has had, and identifying needed research and practice going forward. Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, CEO of the Carson J. Spencer Foundation and the Workplace Task Force Co-Lead for the National Alliance for Suicide Prevention, moderated this session.
About our presenters:
Dr. Steven Stack is an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Full Professor of Criminal Justice, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. He is also Director of the Center for Suicide Research, a registered nonprofit corporation in Troy, Michigan. Dr. Stack received his PhD degree in Sociology from the University of Connecticut in 1976. He has previously held appointments at Penn State University, Auburn University, Indiana University (Indianapolis), and Alma College. He was Chair of the Criminal Justice Department at Wayne State University, 1994-2001. He has served as Secretary of the American Association of Suicidology and President of the Pennsylvania Sociological Society. He is currently on the editorial board of Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior and Archives of Suicide Research. Dr. Stack is the author of over 300 articles and chapters, and most of these are on risk and protective factors for suicide. His major streams of work include social correlates of suicide acceptability, the relationship between family integration and suicide, religion's protective effect on suicide, analysis of media influences (copycat suicide), musical subcultures and suicide, and occupation and suicide risk.
Dr. Allison Milner is a Research Fellow at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne. Her current areas of research include the influence of quality of work, job stress, and unemployment as determinants of mental health and suicidality. Dr. Milner's work ranges across a number of externally-funded etiologic and intervention projects. She has recently been recognized with a Young Tall Poppy Science Award for the State of Victoria, which recognizes her achievements as an outstanding young scientific researcher and communicator. Allison has an honorary appointment at the Population Health Strategic Research Centre at Deakin University.
Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas is a clinical psychologist, mental health advocate, faculty member, and survivor of her brother's suicide, and she sees the issues of suicide prevention and mental health promotion from many perspectives. Currently, she is the CEO of the Carson J. Spencer Foundation, the Survivor Division Director for the American Association of Suicidology, and the Workplace Task Force Co-Lead for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Dr. Spencer-Thomas is a professional speaker and trainer, presenting nationally and internationally on the topic of suicide prevention and has published four books on mental health. 

Suicide and Occupation

ICRC-S Small group meeting: Primary Care & TBI As a Suicide Risk Factor in Veterans

During the January meeting of the ICRC-S RTI CoP, each team had 3 minutes to update the group on the progress and challenges they have experienced since the last meeting. Following updates, participants will be placed in break out rooms according to the session they register for.

Full Recording (link is external)

Breakout session notes

Bryann B. DeBeer, Ph.D: Examining Mediators of the Association between Traumatic Brain Injury and Suicide Risk in Returning Veterans: The Role of Executive Dysfunction - Slides

Dr. Susan Keys & Dr. Laura Pennavaria: Collaborating with Community Stakeholders for Research Success: Primary Care as an Illustration - Slides

About the Webinar

The Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention (ICRC-S), a CDC-funded research center focusing on a public health approach to suicide prevention and research, began its third annual webinar series on January 20, 2015.  A project of the University of Rochester Medical Center and Education Development Center, the ICRC-S draws suicide prevention directly into the domain of public health and injury prevention and links it to complementary approaches to mental health. 

The settings which will be addressed in this year's ICRC-S webinar series, Exploring the Impact of Suicide Prevention Research in Multiple Settings, will include:

  • Health Care
  • Schools
  • Faith-Based Organizations
  • The Justice System
  • The Workplace
  • Social Media

Each monthly webinar will be one hour and will provide an opportunity for dialogue with the webinar presenters.

The first webinar in the Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention's (ICRC-S) 2015 webinar series took place on Tuesday, January 20th from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  The speakers for this webinar were Eric Caine, M.D., ICRC-S Director and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, and Jane Pearson, Ph.D., Chair, Suicide Research Consortium, National Institute of Mental Health.  Dr. Caine and Dr. Pearson launched this series with an overview of the impact of research on national goals for suicide prevention. They discussed the efforts of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the 2014 work of the Research Prioritization Task Force, and the links between research and practice. Jerry Reed, Ph.D., M.S.W., ICRC-S Co-Director and Director of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, moderated. 

About Our Presenters

Eric Caine, M.D.

Eric Caine, M.D. has served since 1996 as John Romano Professor and Chair, URMC Department of Psychiatry, and Co-Director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide (CSPS) since its founding in 1998.  He has deep experience in the evaluation, management, and aftercare of acutely suicidal individuals, dating to the 1970s.  In the past, he worked as a year-round inpatient hospitalist for nearly a decade and as an outpatient psychiatrist for more than two decades.  He participated in >100 psychological autopsies as part of a team that worked with the Office of the Medical Examiner, Monroe County, NY.  Dr. Caine has had continuous NIH funding since 1983.  For nearly two decades, he has focused on public health approaches to suicide prevention and has led these efforts through CSPS.  He was PI of a NIH-supported collaborative consensus process on public health approaches to prevention, funded from 2001-05 by a coalition of NIMH, NIAAA, NIDA, NINR, NICHD, SAMSHA, and CDC, and a NIMH Research Education Grant (R25) from 2005-10 that supported the training and development of multiple graduate and post-graduate suicide researchers, as well as community partnership teams.  From 2004-2010, Dr. Caine led the NIMH/NIDA funded Center for Public Health and Population Interventions for Preventing Suicide, which spawned a wide variety of ongoing grants, and he now directs the CDC-funded Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention (ICRC-S), the only such center in the United States devoted to suicide prevention.  Its mission is to merge injury prevention and mental health perspectives to forge new public health, community oriented approaches to preventing suicide, attempted suicide, and their antecedent risks. 

Jane Pearson, Ph.D.

Jane Pearson, Ph.D., chairs the National Institute of Mental Health's (NIMH) Suicide Research Consortium.  She is the Associate Director for Preventive Interventions in the Division of Services and Intervention Research, and she is currently leading the staffing for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Research Prioritization Task Force.   Dr. Pearson serves as the National Institutes of Health representative to the DHHS Federal Steering Group on Suicide Prevention. She assisted in the development of the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Suicide and the first National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.  She served as a member of the Veterans Administration Blue Ribbon Workgroup on Suicide Prevention.   Dr. Pearson is an adjunct associate professor at Johns Hopkins University, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a recipient of a U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary's Award, the American Association of Suicidology Marsha Linehan Award for Treatment Research, and a Public Service award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.   She has had a private practice in clinical psychology, and has authored papers on the ethical and methodological challenges of suicide research.


Jerry Reed, Ph.D., M.S.W.

Jerry Reed, Ph.D., M.S.W., began serving as the Director of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center in July 2008.  Through this work, he provides state and local officials, grantees, policymakers, interested stakeholders and the general public with assistance in developing, implementing and evaluating programs and strategies to prevent suicide. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, Dr. Reed co-led the task force with the Surgeon General that updated the U.S. National Strategy for Suicide Prevention in 2012.  Additionally, Dr. Reed serves as the Director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Injury, Violence and Suicide overseeing multiple projects and also serves as Co-Director of the Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention with partners at the University of Rochester Medical Center.  His interests include geriatrics, mental health, suicide prevention, global violence prevention and public policy.  Dr. Reed received a Ph.D. in Health Related Sciences with an emphasis in Gerontology from the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond in 2007.  His research topic addressed variation among states in crude rates of older adult male suicide.

The November Meeting of the ICRC-S RTI CoP will also feature Jennifer Lockman, member of the Tennessee RTI CoP team, and Program Evaluator for Centerstone Research Institute. Jennifer will focus on using suicide prevention theory as a framework for developing evaluations, highlighting the Tennessee’s experience with their recently completed SAMHSA youth suicide prevention grant. During the meeting, each team will also have an opportunity to share challenges and successes their project has experienced. Please come prepared with updates and any questions you would like to ask the group.

Full Recording (link is external)

Power Point Slides

Date: September 26th 2014

Description: The September Meeting of the CoP will follow the concurrent session format experienced at the RTI. After a brief introductions and a welcome, participants were “placed” in breakout rooms of their choice for one of the following 30 minute presentations and Q&A sessions:

Session 1): Dr. Kimberly O’Brien of the Simmons School of Social Work, and member of the Massachusetts CoP team will provide a presentation on a study she conducted for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The study explored brief alcohol interventions for adolescent suicide attempt survivors. Notes from Session 1    PowerPoint Slides

Session 2): Dr. Phil Rodgers of LivingWorks, and Mentor to the Vermont CoP team will continue our conversation on logic models, diving more deeply into their utility and considerations for how to build one. Notes from Session 2    PowerPoint Slides

Session 3): Dr. Kate Cerulli of the University of Rochester, and Mentor to the California CoP team will present on the topic of intimate partner violence and suicide. Once the presentations are complete, participants from all three groups will come back together to share what they learned and talk about implications and next steps. Notes from Session 3 (Not Available at this Time)    PowerPoint Slides

Full Recording (link is external)- Please note, break out sessions cannot be recorded

Date: July 25th, 2014

Description: During the first session of the ICRC-S CoP, ICRC-S Staff reported on outcomes from a brief survey the CoP members completed regarding topics of interest and availability. They also reviewed the goals of the CoP, and structure moving forward. Then each of the teams provided an update regarding what actions and changes had occurred to their project since the end of the in-person RTI. Phil Rodgers from Living Works also gave an introduction to logic models.

Full Recording (link is external)


Stephen Russell, Ph.D., University of Arizona, Interim Director, Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences. President, Society for Research on Adolescence 

Ann Haas, Ph.D., Senior Consultant, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Caitlin Ryan, Ph.D., ACSW, Director, Family Acceptance Project, San Francisco State University

Moderator: Julie Ebin, Ed.M., Senior Prevention Specialist, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, EDC


In its efforts to address behavioral health disparities, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has prioritized the goal of suicide prevention among vulnerable populations, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. Despite strong indications of elevated risk of suicidal behavior in LGBT people, limited attention has been given to research, interventions, or suicide prevention programs targeting these populations. This webinar will offer participants up-to-date information about what is already known about LGBT suicide risk across the lifespan as well as what is being done to improve future research.  

Dr. Russell will report on the findings of an expert panel focused on the need to better understand suicidal behavior and suicide risk in sexual minority populations.  He will summarize existing research findings; he will also share recommendations for addressing knowledge gaps and applying current knowledge to relevant areas of suicide prevention practice.

Dr. Haas's presentation will focus on recent efforts to address the critical need for valid, generalizable data on the sexual orientation and gender identity of individuals who die by suicide. This will include a  brief review of how the lack of systematic data about suicide mortality among (LGBT) people significantly limits our understanding of suicide risk in these populations, and hence our ability to develop and implement appropriate and effective intervention and prevention strategies. Recently, agencies and organizations responsible for collecting and reporting on mortality data convened to address this challenge. Dr. Haas will report on the outcome of this meeting and describe the next steps in a ground-breaking effort to determine the manner and causes of suicide mortality among LGBT people. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of opportunities for participants to become involved in this work.   

Dr. Ryan will provide information about recent developments in the Family Acceptance Project, a research, intervention, education and policy project that helps ethnically and religiously diverse families to support their LGBT children in the context of their family, culture, and faith communities. This research-based family support model includes counseling strategies, assessment tools, and multicultural family education materials to help parents, foster parents, and caregivers prevent health risks, including suicide, and promote their LGBT children's well-being. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Review what is known about suicide risk among LGBT populations across the lifespan.
  • Identify gaps in research and describe how this impacts our understanding of the scope of the problem and design of prevention strategies.   
  • Describe new work to develop and test a protocol for collecting postmortem data on sexual orientation and gender identity. 
  • Explain a research-based health and mental health family support model that helps ethnically- and religiously-diverse families to support their LGBT children. 
  • Identify relevant resources available to researchers and practitioners.

Following the webinar, SPRC created a question box for you to submit questions related to the presentation. Our presenters have responded to a sample of your questions. The answers have been compiled in this document: ICRC-S & SPRC Q & A with Panelists.


Dr. Kim Van Orden presented the latest research on the epidemiology and public health significance of late-life suicide. She provided an overview of risk and protective factors and models for integrating these factors. She concluded with what is known about how to intervene to prevent late-life suicide.

Kim Van Orden, PhD is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She is a clinical psychologist and her research addresses the role of social connectedness in the etiology and prevention of late-life suicide. In particular, a substantial portion of her work involves applying the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide to understand the mechanisms of late-life suicide prevention. She is co-author of the book, The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide: Guidance for Working with Suicidal Clients. She is the Project Director of and Co-Investigator on a CDC-funded randomized trial of peer companionship for older adults. She is currently awarded a career development award from NIMH to study the psychosocial mechanisms whereby a behavioral intervention reduces suicide risk in older adults. Kim also maintains an active clinical practice providing cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy to older adults.

Older Adults

This webinar began with a discussion about moving from "research and practice" to practical research. Dr. Lezine presented background information about the language used around suicidal behavior, the epidemiology of those behaviors in the U.S., and possible risk and protective factors. Research efforts were framed within guidance from the Prioritized Research Agenda for Suicide Prevention, and connected to related international work. The presentation also highlighted the shift from using suicide attempt survivors as research subjects to engaging them as partners in the development and implementation of new studies.
In addition to considering ways to move research into practice, the webinar considered ways to improve and/or promote promising practices through research and evaluation. Concepts such as help-seeking and help-giving were be proposed as prompts for community input as well as outcomes (i.e., asking the community "what would help?"). Ideas from individuals who lived through a suicidal experience were provided on topics from peer support and connectedness to hospitalization and medication. Finally, the webinar discussed the emerging emphasis on protective factors and moving from "high risk suicide prevention" to high stakes life promotion".

Youth suicide is a prevalent issue in North America, and is the third leading cause of death for all young people on the continent. The problem is even worse for rural Indigenous youth, for whom suicide is the second leading cause of mortality. Some Indigenous communities suffer from the highest youth suicide rates in the world, while others have rates far below the national average. These community-level differences suggest potentially important areas for intervention. In this webinar, presenters Birdie Trainor and Lisa Wexler described some of the challenges to approaching suicide prevention one individual at a time, particularly for Indigenous communities, and offered some alternative strategies that utilize a broader approach to prevention. The presentation identified evidence-based interventions that focus on broad-based injury prevention principles, described some promising approaches that build on community-level support systems and service-system infrastructure that are in development in one Indigenous rural region of Alaska, and shared current suicide prevention research relevant to Indigenous communities (Wexler & Gone, 2012; Wexler, 2009).

Presenters: Bridie Trainor and Lisa Wexler

A tribal member of Nome Eskimo, Bridie Trainor earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Bridie has worked in residential treatment centers with women, children, and teens in Alaska and New Mexico. Bridie has been Director of Kawerak Wellness since 2009. Kawerak, Inc. is a tribal non-profit representing the twenty tribes of the Bering Strait Region including people of Inupiaq, Yupik, and St. Lawrence Island Yupik descent. Lisa M. Wexler, Ph.D., MSW, is an associate professor in the Department of Public Health at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her current work often utilizes participatory and digital methods to engage young people in research as co-investigators and help new projects build linkages between formal and informal systems of care and support in tribal and other marginalized communities.

American Indian and Alaska Native