SPUR 2021: Refinement of suicide risk management intervention


Suicide rates are rising dramatically in the U.S. Timely interventions are necessary so that high risk individuals get help to identify their personal warning signs and adopt coping strategies to manage emotional dysregulation that heightens suicidal tendencies. Crisis response planning (CRP) intervention teaches a range of coping strategies and provides support that can reduce suicide attempts and ideation. CRP is used in both psychiatric and non-psychiatric health care settings, and has been shown to significantly reduce suicide attempts by 76%. Little is known about the role of emotional dysregulation that is believed to explain improvement in suicidal behaviors after CRP therapy. The current project will be the first to examine the impact of CRP intervention on suicide risk and emotional dysregulation by comparing it to treatment as usual control groups. Improvements from pre-to-post intervention will be measured by adopting ecological momentary sampling (e.g., suicide attempts and ideation) methods and interview that will provide reliable measures of changes and delineate the underlying mechanisms of change that mitigate suicidal vulnerabilities. This project will inform the refinement of an effective suicide risk management intervention. This is a collaboration between University of Utah and Ohio State University. All aspects of this research are being conducted completely online.

Student Role

The student will be involved in the following aspects of the project: Assist with identifying and screening potentially eligible patients; conduct baseline assessments and interview sessions; schedule follow up assessments; help with experience sampling data collection; maintain research records and conduct data integrity check and data cleaning; liaise with other team members to ensure continuity during intervention and assessments; and participate in project coordination meetings and presentation/manuscript generation. The student will be trained on all relevant aspects of the research protocol to be able to implement the above.

Student Learning Outcomes & Benefits

This is a great opportunity for a student looking for hands-on experience in conducting research in affective science with real-world implications. The student will learn about important aspects of research, including relevant literature, study design, data collection, processing, analysis, and manuscript generation. This also includes learning about theoretical and practical foundations of experience sampling and behavioral methods. This experience will be very relevant to a student planning to pursue a degree is psychological sciences and it will look promising on graduate and job applications.

Remote Contingency Plan

This study has been designed for online data collection only and thus the student will be able participate in all planned aspects of the research by working remotely. The main impact of working remotely would be on the project coordination meetings with the whole research team and the one-on-one meeting with the mentor, which will be conducted via Zoom.

Monika Lohani
Assistant Professor

Educational Psychology
College of Education

The student will work closely with me as their mentor to gain hands-on research experience. After a discussion with the mentee, I like to identify goals for their duration of the involvement in the lab and also set a concrete plan to be able to meet their professional development goals. The student will have regular one-on-one meetings with me to help build research and professional development that will be valuable for their future goals.