Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Center for the Prevention of Suicide

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Mission of the Center

Approximately 32,000 individuals die by suicide each year in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide is a leading cause of death for various sectors of the population ( The study and further refinement of treatments to prevent suicide is crucial to reducing the global burden of disease, as well as the impact of these disorders on the resources of mental health facilities within the United States.

The mission of the CPS is to develop innovative Cognitive Therapy treatments for the prevention of suicide that can be disseminated into community settings and used in standing community programs such that patients in real-world settings may benefit from these treatments.

Research activities in the Center include:

Basic research:

Defining the problem through surveillance, systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of health data and identifying the risk and protective factors for psychiatric conditions.

Efficacy and Effectiveness research:

Developing innovative interventions using Cognitive Therapy to prevent suicide attempts and employing clinical trials to examine the efficacy of these treatments for the prevention of suicide attempts; Conducting clinical trials on these treatments to examine the effects of Cognitive Therapy in community settings.

Dissemination research:

Exporting our Cognitive Therapy interventions to community mental health agencies where we investigate the barriers and factors related to successful implementation.