Duke Center for the Study of Suicide Prevention and Intervention

The Duke Center for the Study of Suicide Prevention & Intervention (CSSPI) represents a collaborative effort among several clinical research scientists at the Duke Child & Family Study Center to advance our understanding of the risk for suicidal behaviors and to reduce suicide attempts and suicide deaths. The CSSPI has a three-part mission:

  • Scientifically sound and innovative research
  • The study of evidence-based prevention and intervention
  • Education

The CSSPI partners with local, state, and national community organizations and foundations, as well as academic institutions. Specifically, the faculty members affiliated with the CSSPI maintain active collaborations with several groups, including:

Click on a faculty member’s name to view their profile, including their grants and publications.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Center

(SAMHSA U79SM080041)

The UCLA-Duke Adolescent Suicide/Self Harm & Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) NCTSN Center serves as a resource for information related to suicidal/self-harm behaviors and substance use among trauma-exposed youths. Through the work of the ASAP Center, interventions for trauma-exposed youths with suicidal/self-harm behaviors or substance abuse are being adapted and disseminated. A particular focus is on youths seen in emergency/acute care settings and other settings where brief time-limited treatments are needed. The Center is working to develop and strengthen trauma informed care that integrates care for adolescent behavioral health within primary care, emergency, and other medical settings, as well as other mental health, school, and community settings. Through trainings and dissemination activities, the Center aims to serve diverse youths, across racial and ethnic groups, sexual identities and orientations, socioeconomic groups, and address needs of youths in military families. The Center goal is to support providers and service systems in addressing safety issues and substance misuse effectively, thereby enhancing the benefits of other treatments that specifically target post-traumatic stress disorders/reactions.   

Cognitive & Affective Mechanisms of Risk for Suicidal Thoughts & Behavior

(NIMH R01-MH48762)

In the context of a prospective (20 year), naturalistic, repeated assessment study of long-term psychological adjustment following adolescent psychiatric hospitalization, we are examining processes associated with risk, resilience, and developmental trajectories of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Consistent with NIMH strategic priorities, this study is examining mechanisms of risk across domains, including cognitive (decision-making), psychophysiological, and affective (automatic affective responses). This is one of the few longitudinal studies to follow individuals at risk for an extended period of time, through two developmental periods (adolescence and adulthood). 

The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Suicide Prevention Cross-Site Evaluation

(SAMHSA/CMHS Contract 280-03-1606)

Via a contract from SAMHSA to ICF, a cross-site evaluation is being conducted of the state, tribal, and campus suicide prevention programs funded via the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act. Duke University is participating in this project as part of the cross-site evaluation team. In a recent finding from the cross-site evaluation, communities in which Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention programs had been implemented were found to have reduced rates of suicide deaths and reduced population rates of suicide attempts when compared to communities without these suicide prevention programs.   

Integrated Electronic & Care Manager Support Intervention for Caregivers of Adolescents with Suicide Attempts 

(NIMH R34-MH112811) 

The CSSPI is collaborating with Wake Forest University School of Medicine in the development and initial testing of an intervention to support parents of youths who have had suicidal thoughts and behavior. Previous studies conducted by our group indicated that parents often feel as though they lack support and information for caring for their children who have been discharged from the hospital following suicide attempts. The new intervention will address these needs, and consist of regular contact with a care support manager and use of a mobile health application to provide information and support to parents.

Suicidal Adults with Alcohol or Drug Use Problems: A New Hospital Based Treatment

(NIAAA R34-AA026016)

The CSSPI is collaborating with the University of Rochester School of Medicine in the adaptation, refinement, and preliminary evaluation of the Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program (ASSIP). The ASSIP intervention previously was found to be very effective in reducing suicide attempts in studies in Europe. In this study, the adapted version of ASSIP will be used with adults who both have been medically hospitalized following suicide attempts, and who have alcohol and/or drug use problems. 

The faculty members associated with the CSSPI are involved with research focused on developing and adapting interventions for different populations of suicidal individuals. The CSSPI is not associated with a specific clinic, but clinical services are available through the Duke Child and Family Study Center. Services are available for children, adolescents, young adults and families seeking evidence-based assessment, diagnosis and treatment services for a range of psychological or adjustment difficulties, including suicide-related thoughts and behaviors and self-harm.

For more information, please contact the Referral Coordinator at 919-385-3232.

In the case of an emergency, please call 911 or go the nearest emergency department.

The CSSPI is involved in the provision of training opportunities for individuals interested in suicide- or self-harm-related research. Mentored research experiences are available for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty. Opportunities also are available for clinical training in the assessment and treatment of suicide-related thoughts and behaviors. The CSSPI is involved in outreach and education in the community, including consultation with the schools, collaboration with the NC Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Duke Integrated Pediatric Mental Health initiative.

As part of the CSSPI, the UCLA-Duke ASAP Center for Trauma-Informed Suicide, Self-Harm, & Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment through the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, provides community outreach including educational and mental health awareness talks, as well as training in brief interventions for youths and young adults at risk for suicidal and self-harm behaviors.

The Duke Center for the Study of Suicide Prevention and Intervention is tremendously grateful for the funders and partners who make our work possible. If you would like to speak to someone directly about supporting our Center, please email David Goldston, PhD, at david.goldston@duke.edu, or call (919) 668-0074.