Laboratory for the Treatment of Suicide-Related Ideation & Behavior

The Laboratory for the Treatment of Suicide-Related Ideation and Behavior at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, under the direction of Dr. Marjan G. Holloway (Director) and Dr. Laura Neely (Associate Director), is dedicated to the study, development, and empirical evaluation of effective interventions for suicidal individuals. The lab's primary emphasis is on secondary and tertiary suicide prevention research addressing the needs of high-risk groups and individuals. Since suicide remains a leading cause of mortality for military service members and veterans, many of our studies are conducted with the goal of better understanding suicide in the context of unique military stressors such as posttraumatic stress disorder. Lab personnel include three military doctoral students in Clinical Psychology, two licensed psychologists, two postdoctoral fellows, a biostastician, and a number of bachelor's and master's level research assistants.

The work conducted in this lab includes the following activities:

  • Development and implementation of research projects that advance our science of treatment for individuals with suicide-related ideation and/or behavior
    • For example, we are currently adapting and empirically evaluating inpatient cognitive behavioral interventions for service members and beneficiaries hospitalized for suicide-related ideation and/or behavior.

  • Training in evidence-based suicide risk assessment, management, and treatment for USUHS clinical psychology doctoral students, USUHS medical students, and other mental health providers serving military service members and their families
    • For example, in early 2014, the lab, in collaboration with Air Force colleagues disseminated the Air Force Guide for Suicide Risk Assessment, Management, and Treatment which is mandated for use by all behavioral health providers within the United States Air Force.

  • Collaboration and consultation with experts in the fields of military medicine, suicidology, and psychotherapy research
    • For example, we are currently collaborating with the Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO) and the various Suicide Prevention Programs across the different branches of service. In September 2014, several members of the lab will be attending a one-week United States Navy meeting in order to contribute to suicide prevention programming for our sailors and Marines.

  • Leadership on several national and international endeavors on military suicide prevention
    • For example, Dr. Holloway has been chairing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Human Factors and Medicine (HFM), Research Task Group (RTG) on military suicide. The technical report which summarizes the work on this RTG, to be disseminated among NATO leadership, is expected for release in September 2015.

  • Maintenance of an up-to-date literature archive on suicide-related ideation/behavior and cognitive behavioral interventions for suicide
     
  • Providing opportunities for post-doctoral training in the areas of military suicide, cognitive behavior therapy, clinical trials methodology, and evidence-based approaches to suicide prevention
    • Since 2006, the lab has trained ten postdoctoral fellows. One of our recent postdoctoral fellows, Dr. Jaime Carreno, has joined the United States Army as a Research Psychologist. Captain Carreno is currently working at the Walter Reed Institute of Research and continues her involvement with the lab as a collaborator.

To learn more about our specific studies, please check the link for "Current Projects".