Seed grant funds adolescent suicide prevention study

Identification and management of mental health issues in pediatric care settings are the focus of an adolescent suicide prevention study funded by a seed grant from the University of Maine System Rural Health and Well-being Grand Challenge Initiative’s Injury Prevention Collaborative.

The study, led by Jennifer Blossom, an assistant professor of psychology at University of Maine at Farmington, and Rebecca Schwartz-Mette, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Maine, will address the lack of established evidence-based suicide prevention interventions in the pediatric primary care setting.

Rural areas face higher-than-average rates of suicide, and limited access to specialty and crisis resources. In their research, Blossom and Schwartz-Mette will explore the identification and management of mental health problems in the pediatric care setting as a scalable treatment option.

Blossom, who participates in the Research Affiliates program, conducts research on the effectiveness and implementation of evidence-based interventions in pediatric primary care and community settings. Schwartz-Mette’s research in developmental psychopathology focuses on risk and protective factors in pediatric suicide.

The UMS Rural Health and Well-being Grand Challenge Initiative’s Injury Prevention Collaborative has been seeding research awards since 2020. The program is coordinated by Marcella Sorg and Jamie Wren at the UMaine Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, with assistance from UMaine’s Office of Research Development, and is open to all UMS researchers.

The UMS Injury Prevention Collaborative coordinates current UMS resources related to rural injury and violence prevention for better collaboration, more robust applications for external funding, greater opportunities for students, and greater impact on the safety and well-being of Mainers.
Learn more about the UMS Grand Challenge Pilot Initiative Launch on the Research and Development Plan website.