Laboratory for the Treatment of Suicide-Related Ideation and 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) is dedicated to the study, development, and empirical evaluation of 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 currently include four military doctoral students in Clinical Psychology, three doctoral-level psychologists, two postdoctoral fellows, a biostastician, a number of bachelor's and master's level research associates, and volunteers. The work conducted in this lab includes the following activities:

  • Development and implementation of research projects that advance the 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 attended 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 2016.
  • Maintenance of an up-to-date literature archive on suicide-related ideation/behavior and cognitive behavioral interventions for suicide

    • In 2016, a social psychologist who specializes in research synthesis and meta-analytic strategies has joined our team. We are currently conducting a comprehensive review of the suicide psychotherapy outcome research in order to identify major gaps in the treatment of specific subgroups of suicidal patients, within specific healthcare settings. 
  • 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, Dr. Holloway has trained twelve postdoctoral fellows. Several of these individuals continue to contribute to national and DoD suicide prevention efforts as well as serve as lab collaborators. For example, Dr. Jaime Carreno has joined the United States Army as a Research Psychologist. Dr. Laura Neely has joined the Defense Suicide Prevention Office as a Research Personnel Psychologist.

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