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Suicide Prevention

Learn more about Suicide Prevention.

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Featured Studies

Featured studies include only those currently recruiting participants. Studies with the most recent start date appear first.

Wa'Kan Ye'Zah: Enhancing Caregivers' and Children's Well-being Through an Evidence-based and Culturally Informed Prevention Intervention

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: November 18, 2019
Location: Poplar, Montana
Eligibility: Ages 18 and Older, Accepts Healthy Volunteers

The overall goal of this study is to develop, adapt and evaluate an intergenerational prevention intervention, named "Wa'Kan Ye'Zah (Little Holy One)," with Native American caregivers on a Northern Plains reservation and the caregivers' 3-to-5-year-old children. The intervention aims to: 1) reduce symptoms of historical trauma and everyday stress among parents/caregivers, 2) improve parenting, and 3) improve children's emotional and behavioral developmental outcomes to reduce future risk for suicide and substance use.

A Longitudinal Study of Inflammatory Pathways in Depression

Study Type: Observational
Start Date: October 1, 2019
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Eligibility: Ages 18 and Older, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

Suicide accounts for at least 1 million deaths globally each year. This is likely a significant underestimate, because suicide is under-reported in many countries. In the US, over 42,000 people die from suicide annually. Despite increased focus on identification and treatment, the rate of suicide has increased steadily over the past 15 years.

Our project aims both to improve our understanding of factors that increase the risk for suicide by comparing blood biomarkers associated with inflammation in patients with depression without suicidal behavior and patients with depression and suicidal behavior. The 160 individuals in this study will be followed with psychiatric assessments and blood samples at repeated time points over one year.

Screening Wizard, Component 1 of iCHART (Integrated Care to Help At-Risk Teens)-Feasibility/Pilot Phase

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: August 13, 2019
Locations: Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Eligibility: Ages 12–17, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

Screening Wizard (SW). Primary Care Providers (PCPs) are often uncertain about how to best refer adolescents who screen positive for depression or suicidality. Screen-positive youth who are either not in treatment, or express dissatisfaction with current treatment will be consented by an on-site research assistant (RA). Those parents and patients receiving SW will answer additional questions: adaptive screens developed in a previous NIMH study (MH100155) for suicidal risk, anxiety, and mania; perceived barriers; and preferences about treatment. SW generates recommendations for PCPs reflecting patient clinical needs and preferences.

BRITEPath, Component 3 of iCHART (Integrated Care to Help At-Risk Teens)

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: August 6, 2019
Locations: Moon, Pennsylvania; Wexford, Pennsylvania
Eligibility: Ages 12–17, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

BRITEPath (BP) aims to support co-located mental health clinicians in the development of a high quality, effective, and personalized safety plan for referred patients who screen positive for depression and/or suicidal ideation.

BRITEPath utilizes BRITE, a safety planning and emotion regulation app that is loaded on the patient's smart phone and has previously been shown to be well accepted and to reduce suicide attempts compared to usual care in psychiatric inpatients (HR = 0.49). To support mental health clinicians in the development of effective safety plans, study investigators will develop Guide2Brite (G2B), which provides step-by-step instructions for the mental health clinician on how to populate BRITE onto the patient's smartphone and BRITEBoard, a clinician dashboard that tracks patient symptoms, app use, and rating on helpfulness of different interventions assessed through BRITE.

Real-time Intervention for Suicide Risk Reduction

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: July 29, 2019
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Eligibility: Ages 18 and Older, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

The goal of this study is to provide an initial pilot test of an Ecological Momentary Intervention (EMI) designed the reduce the distress associated with negative emotion among individuals at risk for suicide that pairs content from a smartphone with a wearable physiological monitor. Participants will be 25 suicidal adult inpatients who will complete three brief therapy sessions with a study therapist and then complete exercises associated with the study for the duration of the inpatient period and for 28 days after they leave the hospital.

Text2Connect, Component 2 of iCHART (Integrated Care to Help At-Risk Teens)

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: May 28, 2019
Locations: Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Eligibility: Ages 12–17, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

This study proposes to develop and examine a personalized, text-based intervention designed to improve engagement with mental health (MH) treatment.

An Adaptive Intervention for Adolescents at Risk for Suicide: A Pilot SMART

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: March 14, 2019
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Eligibility: Ages 13–17, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

To inform the development of a technology-augmented adaptive intervention for adolescents at risk for suicide, the goal of this study is to conduct a Sequential, Multiple Assignment, Randomized Trial (SMART) pilot of a Motivational Interview (MI)-enhanced safety planning intervention (MI-SafeCope). Findings from this study will provide the groundwork for the construction of a technology-augmented adaptive intervention that could lead to a reduction in suicidal behaviors and related events during the high-risk post-discharge period—an important suicide prevention target.

Safety Planning Juvenile Justice

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: January 1, 2019
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Eligibility: Ages 12–17, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

This study will examine the feasibility and acceptability of a program designed to conduct safety planning with youth in the juvenile justice system who are at risk for a suicide attempt and/or self-injury and to increase the possibility of them receiving outpatient mental health treatment. After training staff in the intervention, the investigators will pilot test the safety planning intervention and gather information on how well it worked on reducing self-harm, getting families to follow up with referrals for mental health care, and how often they attend treatment.

Confirmatory Efficacy and Safety Trial of Magnetic Seizure Therapy for Depression

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: June 26, 2018
Locations: Dallas, Texas; Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Eligibility: Ages 18 and Older, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

This trial aims to assess the efficacy and tolerability of Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST) as an alternative to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for depression. Even with multiple medication trials, 30 - 40% of patients will experience a pharmacologically resistant form of illness. The ineffectiveness of current treatments for major depressive disorder (MDD) coupled with the economic burden associated with the disorder engenders a need for novel therapeutic interventions that can provide greater response and remission rates.

Caring Contacts: A Strength-based, Suicide Prevention Trial in 4 Native Communities

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: May 30, 2018
Locations: Poplar, Montana; Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Eligibility: Ages 18 and Older, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for American Indians and Alaska Natives aged 18 years and older. This study will evaluate Caring Contacts, a low-cost, sustainable intervention for suicide prevention that sends caring messages to people at risk. The investigators will implement the intervention at four tribal sites, leveraging community strengths and values to address this tragic health disparity in an underserved minority population.

Ovarian Hormones and Suicide Risk

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: April 15, 2018
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Eligibility: Females, Ages 18–45, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

This within-person, crossover, 3-condition, placebo-controlled study compares the impact of three perimenstrual conditions on severity of suicidal symptoms in females with past-month suicidality but minimal risk of imminent suicide attempt. The three conditions are (1) perimenstrual withdrawal from estradiol only (during progesterone stabilization), (2) perimenstrual withdrawal from progesterone only (during estradiol stabilization), and (3) perimenstrual withdrawal from both estradiol and progesterone during placebo.

Implementing a Brief Suicide Intervention for High Risk Youth With Front-Line Juvenile Justice Staff

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: December 31, 2016
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Eligibility: Ages 12–17, Accepts Healthy Volunteers

A youth's contact with the juvenile justice system represents an opportune moment for suicide screening and brief suicide intervention for indicated youth. This study will provide data on the novel implementation of an evidence-based brief suicide intervention, safety planning, administered by front-line juvenile court staff for suicidal court-involved non-incarcerated youth. Data will inform the dissemination and implementation of suicide brief interventions to be delivered by front-line staff at the time of mental health screening in the juvenile justice system. The proposed study is consistent with the NIMH Strategic Plan by testing an intervention for effectiveness in community settings (Strategy 3.3) and establishing a research-practice partnership to improve D&I of evidence-based MH services (4.2). The unique service delivery by JJ court staff also supports the NIMH goals to develop innovative service delivery models (Strategy 4.3) as well as validate a MH intervention for an underserved population (Strategy 4.1). This proposal also addresses the Healthy People 2020 goals of reducing suicide attempts (MHMD-2).

Biomarkers as Predictors of Suicidal Risk in Adolescents

Study Type: Observational
Start Date: December 31, 2016
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Eligibility: Ages 12–18, Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Suicide is one of the most devastating events in society at all levels. The primary goal of this study is to predict suicide in adolescents at risk. We will utilize blood biomarker measurement and clinical risk factor scales to develop a tool to identify adolescents at risk for suicide earlier, which will allow clinicians to prescribe timely treatment and prevent suicide.

Neurobiology of Suicide

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: December 2, 2015
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Eligibility: Ages 18–70, Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Background:

There are no good treatments for people considering suicide. Researchers want to study suicide with questions, blood tests, brain imaging, and sleep studies. They hope to better understand suicide, so they can help suicidal people.

Objective:

To understand what happens in the brain when someone has thought about or attempted suicide.

Eligibility:

Group 1: Adults ages 18 70 who have thought about or attempted suicide recently

Group 2: Adults ages 18 70 who have thought about or attempted suicide in the past

Group 3: Adults ages 18 70 who have depression or anxiety, but have never thought about suicide

Group 4: Healthy volunteers the same ages.

Design:

Participants will be screened in another protocol. Adults who have recently thought about or attempted suicide must be referred by a doctor. They may do up to 3 phases of this study. Groups 2, 3 and 4 will do only Phase 1 and will not get ketamine.

Phase 1: 1 week in hospital. Participants will have:

Physical exam.

Questions about thoughts and feelings.

Thinking and memory tests and simple tasks.

Blood and urine tests.

Two MRI scans. Participants will lie on a table that slides into a metal cylinder that takes pictures. They will have a coil over their head and earplugs and do a computer task.

Sleep test. Disks and bands will be placed on the body to monitor it during sleep.

Magnetic detectors on their head while they perform tasks.

A wrist monitor for activity and sleep.

Lumbar puncture (optional). A needle will collect fluid from the back.

Shock experiments (optional). Participants will observe pictures and sounds and feel a small shock on the hand.

Phase 2: 4 days in hospital. A thin plastic tube will be placed in each arm, one for blood draws, the other to get the drug ketamine once. Participants will repeat most of the Phase 1 tests.

Phase 3: up to 4 more ketamine doses over 2 weeks.

Participants will have follow-up calls or visits at 6 months and then maybe yearly for 5 years.

miRNAs, Suicide, and Ketamine - Plasma Exosomal microRNAs as Novel Biomarkers for Suicidality and Treatment Outcome

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: April 30, 2015
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Eligibility: Ages 18–65, Accepts Healthy Volunteers

The purpose of this study is to examine whether neural-derived exosomal miRNAs are differentially expressed that are specific to suicidal ideation or behavior, and which by affecting specific miRNA targets and pathways, are associated with suicidal behavior and response to ketamine. The following groups of subjects will be examined: 1) major depressive disorder (MDD) with a recent suicide attempt (in past 2 weeks), 2) MDD with serious ideation (in the past 7 days) without recent suicide attempt (in the past 6 months), 3) MDD without clinically significant suicidal ideation (in the past 7 days) or recent suicide attempt (in the past 6 months), and 4) healthy controls. Both suicidal and non-suicidal MDD will be given ketamine (0.5 mg/kg, IV) and blood will be drawn at predose, 30 min, 180 min, 24 hours, and 14 days post-infusion to measure changes in miRNAs.

Ask Suicide-Screening Questions to Everyone in Medical Settings (asQ em): Development of a Suicide Risk Screening Instrument for Adult Medical Inpatients

Study Type: Observational
Start Date: June 1, 2014
Locations: Providence, Rhode Island; Fort Worth, Texas
Eligibility: Ages 18 and Older, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

Background:

- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for U.S. adults. Medically ill people are at an increased risk of suicide. Most people who have killed themselves went to a healthcare provider within 3 months of their death. More and more, hospitals are being asked to assess people for signs of suicide risk so that they can get the help they need. If nurses and doctors can find out who is at risk they can make sure these people get help in the hospital.

The asQ em (Ask Suicide-Screening Questions to Everyone in Medical Settings) is a brief questionnaire. It was created to detect suicidal thoughts and behaviors in hospitalized people. Researchers would like to further develop this tool and figure out which are the best questions to ask patients.

Objective:

- To determine the best questions for healthcare providers to ask people with medical illnesses to see if they are having suicidal thoughts or planning to hurt themselves.

Eligibility:

- NIH Clinical Center patients over age 18.

Design:

- Participants will be asked questions about how they have been feeling in the past few weeks. They will be asked questions about depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. They also will be asked some background questions.

- It will take approximately 15 to 30 minutes to answer the questions.

A Sleep-Oriented Intervention for Suicidal Behaviors

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: May 31, 2013
Location: Stanford, California
Eligibility: Ages 18 and Older, Accepts Healthy Volunteers

An open-label trial to investigate the use of a behavioral insomnia treatment for suicidal ideation.

Effectiveness of Empowerment Group Sessions for Treating Suicidal African American Women in Abusive Relationships

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: March 31, 2008
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Eligibility: Females, Ages 18–64, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

This study will evaluate the effectiveness of culturally competent psychoeducational empowerment sessions in treating suicidal African-American women who are in abusive relationships.