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Behavioral Emergencies Update
Spring 2001

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In this issue...

Section VII Programming at APA Convention

Graduate Student Spotlight

Debate on End-of-Life Issues:

Dr. Yufit Comments on Dr. Werth Interview

Reply to Dr. Yufit

Dr. Kleespies Comments on Yufit-Werth Exchange

New Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide

Publication Highlights

Special Offer for Section VII Members


New Center for the Study and
Prevention of Suicide

The University of Rochester Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, under the direction of Eric D. Caine, M.D., and Yeates Conwell, M.D., has been awarded NIH funding with co-sponsorship by NIMH, NIDA, NINR, NICHD, and SAMSHA to develop an NIH Scientific Consensus Process devoted to defining and disseminating the most effective methods of suicide prevention (E.D. Caine, P.I.). This Scientific Consensus Process model will address the following aims:
  1. Develop a consensus among mental health and public health researchers, and among key community and political leaders, including governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations, regarding those factors known to predict increased risk, or show protective benefit, for suicide or serious suicide attempts--across the age spectrum, within distinct population groups, and for each gender;
  2. Systematically propose research to address areas of insufficient knowledge regarding risk factors specific to critical populations (i.e., those accounting for the greatest amount of burden due to morbidity and mortality), while examining as well those factors that protect similarly vulnerable individuals;
  3. Utilize evidence-based approaches to review scientific data regarding the effectiveness of proposed or tested methods to reduce suicide, including population-oriented and high-risk approaches, as well as suicidal behaviors and their attendant morbidity;
  4. Foster consensus on the best methods for population-oriented universal prevention, and preventive-clinical interventions to treat those individuals and groups who have been identified as being at highest risk;
  5. Aggressively disseminate research findings and workshop recommendations to the scientific community, policy makers, and the public through a series of review publications and the use of electronic information and networking strategies.

To address these aims, a series of annual consensus conferences will be held at various locations across the United States over the next five years. The first meeting will be held in Bethesda, MD on June 13-14 and will focus on adolescent and young adult suicide prevention. Each meeting will address a specific risk group and be centered around a general format which will include a systematic review of:

  • The content area highlighting risk factors for the identified risk group
  • The current prevention efforts underway for that risk group
  • The outcomes research available related to these prevention efforts
  • Recommendations for future population-oriented and high-risk oriented research

Invited participants will include risk researchers and prevention experts, community and NGO representatives, public health and government officials (state and federal), international experts, congressional officials, and representatives from the media. One of the aims is to encourage frank and collaborative interchange between professionals, community activists, and representatives of key constituencies.

For more information about this project, contact Jack Herrmann, Project Coordinator, at or (716) 275-6740.