The mission of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Recovery (CSPAR) is to promote the recovery of individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts and behavior and the effectiveness and resilience of the clinical staff and families who care for them through:

  • conducting rigorous and ecologically valid research
  • developing innovative interventions
  • improving policies, systems and environments of care
  • providing expert training and consultation
  • listening to and understanding the lived experience of those we serve 

We seek a deep understanding of the cultures and settings in which we work that lead to meaningful, pragmatic interventions that are ready for implementation.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Seeking a deep understanding of the cultures and settings in which we work is central to the CSPAR mission; success leads to meaningful, pragmatic interventions that are ready for implementation.

Our goal is to ensure equity and inclusion in all areas of our research — selection of researchers, students, staff, and study participants, partnering with the populations we study, the research questions we ask and the methods we use to find the answers. We also do our best to design and conduct our training programs to be useful, helpful, and meaningful to diverse audiences.

While many of the CSPAR training programs are free, all our fee-based programs offer scholarships with priority given to those often under-represented at our trainings. Examples include:

  • Racial/ethnic minorities
  • Military
  • Veterans
  • First-Generation and Continuing-Generation College Students
  • Grew up in a rural or frontier area or low-income and health professional shortage area
  • Was or is currently homeless
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Was in the foster care system
  • Was eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program
  • Was or currently is eligible for Federal Pell grants
  • Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) as a parent or child

Send inquiries to [email protected] if scholarship information is not provided on a registration page. 

Here are some highlights of our diversity focused work in action:

  1. Dr. Comtois has partnered with native communities to culturally adapt two of our interventions – Caring Contacts and Preventing Addiction Related Suicide (PARS) – the latter with Drs. Jennifer Shaw and Dr. Ries.
  2. Dr. Sung has developed a free self-guided course providing a framework for developing cultural competency and cultural humility in health care and suicide care: Hope and Recovery for Everyone: Cultural Factors in Suicide Care.
  3. Clinicians who are unfamiliar with firearms or cultural factors associated with firearm ownership and use can benefit from training to support culturally-aligned lethal means counseling. Please click here for a free self-guided course Targeted Interventions: Firearms, Culture & Suicide Care developed by Dr. Sung.
  4. Dr. Laura Richardson and Dr. Comtois have partnered with Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic to co-design and adapt Caring Contacts for the needs of gender expansive youth.

CSPAR at the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Medicine

The Center for Suicide Prevention and Recovery (CSPAR) is one of the Centers, Initiatives, and Labs within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UW Medicine. CSPAR staff and research initiatives are fully funded by specific grants and donations from individuals, families, and trusts, including gifts that honor those lost to suicide.

While CSPAR focuses primarily in healthcare settings, the department also supports and collaborates with Forefront Suicide Prevention, a Center of Excellence at University of Washington that advocates for systemic change and sustainable action to prevent suicide on college campuses and throughout the fabric of human life. CSPAR also supports and shares resources with the AIMS Center (Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions) within the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Division of Population Health at UW to improve behavioral healthcare in primary care.

Consider donating if you would like to help us to expand upon the research CSPAR is working on and hopes to work on in the near future.