Katherine Anne (Kate) Comtois, PhD, MPH

Director, Center for Suicide Prevention and Recovery





Dr. Comtois been working in the area of health services, treatment development, clinical trials, and implementation research to prevent suicide for more than 30 years, serving as director for CSPAR since its inception in 2019.

As a researcher, professor, speaker, and trainer, her goals include moving beyond assessing and managing suicidal ideation to assuring patients get the treatment and support they need to recover and re-engage with life. Through CSPAR, she ensures clinicians have access to the knowledge, tools, resources and support they need to help their suicidal patients.

Dr. Comtois has a long-standing history of collaboration with diverse and underrepresented clinical or suicide prevention teams in a variety of settings including community mental health, the Multi-Systemic Therapy juvenile justice program by and for Black Americans, active duty military, American Indian and Alaska Native communities, and community substance abuse treatment programs. In addition to the design and management of clinical trials, her work focuses on the ethics of suicide clinical research.

Selected Interventions (developed or adapted by Dr. Comtois and colleagues)

  • Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS)
  • Caring Contacts via Text message
  • Preventing Addiction Related Suicide (PARS)
  • DBT-ACES, a program that expands upon Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to assist psychiatrically disabled individuals with emotion-related disorders find and maintain living wage employment and self-sufficiency.

Selected List of Grant Funders

  • National Institute of Mental Health
  • National Institute of Drug Abuse
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • The Garvey Institute for Brain Health Solutions
  • The State of Washington
  • The US Department of Defense (DOD)

Key Leadership Roles Include

  • NIMH Data Safety Monitoring Board (2003 to present)
  • Society for Implementation Research Collaboration (SIRC), founder, past president, and co-chair of the Intermediaries SubNetwork
  • Military Suicide Research Consortium, Director for Dissemination and Implementation (2016-2023)
  • Director, Suicide Care Research Center (NIMH P50 center grant)

Credentials and Education

  • BA, Psychology • Douglass College, Rutgers University (1986)
  • PHD, Clinical/Community Psychology • University of Maryland (1992)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow • University of Washington (1994)
  • MPH, Health Services • University of Washington (2009)

Publications – Selected Works

Find Katherine Anne Comtois on PubMed to see a list of full works.

Selected Honors:

  • ​Washington State Psychological Association Distinguished Psychologist Award (2012, 2017)
  • Sue Eastgard Training Excellence Award, Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention (2016)
  • Roddy Brickell for Contribution to Adolescent Suicide Prevention, Columbia University (2015)
  • Governor’s Recognition Award for Service to Mental Health Transformation, Washington State (2006)
  • King County Exemplary Service Award to Harborview Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program (2001)