Amanda Kerbrat, MSW, LICSW

Senior Research Scientist & Data Manager



Amanda collaborates on CSPAR health services, treatment development, and clinical trials research to prevent suicide. Areas of expertise include the assessment of suicidal ideation and behavior as well as the Caring Contacts intervention and data management. She serves as the science lead across Dr. Comtois’ CSPAR studies. 


Amanda discovered her passion for clinical research as an undergraduate research assistant in Marsha Linehan’s Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics. She leapt at the opportunity to join Dr. Comtois’ team in 2004, just before graduating summa cum laude from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She continued to work on Dr. Comtois’ health services and treatment development studies and for the Center for Healthcare Improvement for Addictions, Mental Illness, and Medically Vulnerable Populations (CHAMMP) while attending the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at UW. Her clinical training focused on treatment of substance use disorders as well as dialectical behavior therapy. She received her MSW degree in 2008. While working toward licensure, she led an effort to revamp a multidisciplinary treatment program for individuals receiving opioid agonist therapy. In 2011, she returned to research, supporting Dr. Comtois’ clinical trials of interventions to reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviors among military personnel. With Dr. Comtois and Dr. Rick Ries, she adapted Jerome Motto’s “caring letters” intervention for text message delivery to active duty military personnel. Her continuing interest in Caring Contacts is driven by its simplicity as well as its stark contrast to how clinicians ordinarily interact with suicidal patients—proactively reaching out with non-demanding expressions of caring and interest that convey a genuine sense of kinship as opposed to reactively assessing and responding to suicide risk during clinical encounters.