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Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention

The VISN2 Center of Excellence for Suicide PreventionCenter of Excellence for Suicide Prevention

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Reduce the morbidity and mortality in Veterans due to suicidal behavior including suicide, attempted suicide, and re-attempt, primarily through the study and application of public health approaches to suicide prevention. In pursuit of this mission the Center collaborates actively with other VA Centers, SAMHSA, Department of Defense, CDC, University affiliates, and other partners.

Strategic Plan:

Aim 1-
Develop national surveillance systems for data management of suicide, attempted suicide, and re-attempt among Veterans.
Rationale: These data are essential to build a basis for research with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of the epidemiology of suicidal behavior in Veterans.
Aim 2-
Develop a contextual framework for characterizing risk and protective factors for suicidal behavior among Veterans.
Rationale: The CoE-SP will use this framework to guide research conducted on blended studies of the implementation, efficacy, and effectiveness of VA’s suicide prevention programs including demonstration projects.
Aim 3-
Develop, test, and implement behavioral interventions for reducing suicidal behavior among Veterans.
Rationale: The CoE-SP will serve as a resource for training and dissemination on suicide prevention.
Aim 4-
Provide training and disseminate information to VA clinicians and non-clinicians concerning best practices and/or evidence-based practices for reducing suicidal behavior among Veterans.
Rationale:The CoE-SP will integrate clinical interventions and health services studies to inform the larger mission of the CoE-SP to serve as a national resource for diverse strategies to reduce suicidal behavior in Veterans, specifically focusing on public health approaches.


The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes the need to reduce suicide among Veterans as an organizational priority and in August 2007, the VA established the Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention at the Veterans Health Administration Medical Center in Canandaigua, NY. The Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention is organized as a prevention and research center which utilizes a public health approach model. The Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention also capitalizes on a strong, long existing program of research on suicide prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

This Center strives to assist in the VA's organizational goal of reducing suicide among Veterans by:

  • acquiring new knowledge to inform a better understanding of risk and protective factors for suicide among diverse Veteran populations;
  • developing, implementing and evaluating clinical interventions focused on increasing access and engagement in care;
  • disseminating knowledge on evidence based/best practices for the identification of risk and prevention of suicide among Veterans.




The VA VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention and the affiliated University of Rochester Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide (UR-CSPS) are pleased to announce the availability of postdoctoral fellowship positions for physicians, psychologists and associated health professionals committed to careers in suicide prevention research. The fellowship is supported by the VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment, and provides two years of stipend and benefits for qualified trainees, with potential for a third year of training. The training emphasizes population-based, public health approaches to suicide prevention in the setting of an interdisciplinary training environment that fosters rich and creative collaborations in both research and clinical domains.

We focus on the rigorous translation of scientific findings into practice and the reciprocal process of ‘feeding’ scientific inquiry with clinical questions that emerge directly from the field. In order to maximize the synergy between scientific inquiry and informed clinical practice, fellows devote the majority of their time to patient oriented research and education activities complemented with 25% direct patient clinical care in programs relevant to their research. A central pillar of our program is the development of effective mentor-fellow relationships that foster the growth and eventual independence of early career scientists.

Within this context, fellows will have the opportunity to focus on topics critical to the lives of Veterans such as brief interventions to address suicide risk, suicide prevention for Veterans with substance use disorders and/or homelessness, and suicide prevention for older Veterans. Other training components include core didactics offered by the national VA Hub Site to facilitate research, education, and clinical training goals; UR-CSPS seminars and lab meetings pertaining to suicidology and prevention/intervention research methods; and the development, implementation, and evaluation of at least one education project during the course of fellowship training.

Additional information, including guidelines for application, is available from:

Deborah A. King, PhD, VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention

email: or phone: (585) 393-7950.


This website is for educational purposes only.

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