At the University of Notre Dame Suicide Prevention Initiative—Research, Intervention, & Training (SPIRIT), we seek to reduce the burden of self-harm and suicide on individuals, families, and communities.
Suicide rates In the United States have been rising in almost all demographic groups over the past several decades. Our mission is to reduce this trend through:
- Research on biological, psychological, family, and cultural contributors to suicide and self-harm
- Primary and secondary prevention
Primary prevention involves identifying children and adolescents who are at high risk for self-injury and suicide attempts before they engage in such behaviors, whereas secondary prevention involves treatments targeting those who have histories of self-injury or suicide attempts.
Our guiding philosophy is that effective prevention requires broad understanding of biological vulnerabilities (e.g., genetic influences, neural functions) and environmental risk factors (e.g., maltreatment, peer influences). This approach allows us to target specific mechanisms of self-injury and suicide, which improves prevention efficacy.
Our work has been funded by grants from:
- National Institute of Mental Health
- National Institute on Drug Abuse
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
- National Institutes of Health Science of Behavior Change Common Fund