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NIH Funding for Research on Suicide Predictors and Prevention

August 02, 2017
Eve Reider, Ph.D.
Eve Reider, Ph.D.

Program Director, Division of Extramural Research
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were more than 44,000 suicide deaths in the United States, which is two and half times the number of homicide deaths in the same year. The annual suicide rate in the United States has continued to climb over the past 16 years, and suicide is 1 of the 10 leading causes of death.      

This summer, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) signed on to support an NIH funding opportunity announcement (FOA)—Addressing Suicide Research Gaps: Understanding Mortality Outcomes (R01)—that focuses on linking relevant data from health care system records (e.g., suicide attempt events) to mortality data in order to obtain a more accurate understanding of the risk factors for, and the burden of, suicide. This research is a critical step to better understand the relationship between health care utilization patterns and mortality outcomes. Currently, U.S. researchers rely on Canadian and European estimates of mortality risk for civilians seen in health care settings. Through this FOA, NIH hopes to address the gap in U.S. data on mortality outcomes subsequent to health care visits. In addition, these data may provide benchmarks for health care systems and insurers who want to reduce the frequency of suicide events. Projects supported by the FOA will help address gaps identified in the 2014 Prioritized Research Agenda for Suicide Prevention, which was developed by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Research Prioritization Task Force.

The FOA is supported by four NIH components: National Institute of Mental Health, NCCIH, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

NCCIH is particularly interested in applications that:

  • Examine data from health care records that include mortality outcomes and information about use of complementary or integrative approaches, including stepped care and collaborative models, to better understand predictors of suicide and factors that may reduce its occurrence. Examples of complementary and integrative approaches include mindfulness-based stress reduction, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and integrative care. 
  • Examine linkage of data from clinical trials (including pragmatic clinical trials) that examine complementary or integrative approaches to mortality outcomes to better understand predictors of suicide and factors that may reduce its occurrence. Examples of complementary and integrative approaches may include mindfulness-based stress reduction, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and integrative care.

NCCIH intends to commit up to $250,000 to support one meritorious application of clear relevance to its mission. Applications are due November 2, 2017, and letters of intent are due 30 days prior.

Potential applicants are welcome to join in an NIH technical assistance teleconference about this funding opportunity. Several NIH staff from the four participating institutes and centers will be available to answer questions.

September 11, 2017, 1–2 p.m. ET

The dial in number is 1-866-692-3158 and the participant code is 5800728.

Please share this information with colleagues who may be interested!

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Great post! It is always good to take essential steps to prevent suicide attempts and efforts to reduce the annual suicide rate. I really appreciate NCCIH who signed on to support NIH FOA to address suicide research gaps.Best Regards 

Great effort and superb post Thanks for your article! I have been looking for quite a long time and fortunately I read this article! I wish you would continue to have valuable articles like this or more to share with everyone!Thanks a lot once again 

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