Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention
Updated: 21 February 2017
- Sarra Nazem, PhD
- Title: Clinical Research Psychologist
303.399.8020 ext. 5695
- Accepting Fellowship Applications for 2016-17
- Dr. Sarra Nazem earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from West Virginia University in 2013 following the completion of a clinical internship at the VA Palo Alto. She then joined the Rocky Mountain MIRECC as a fellow in the VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research & Treatment. After completing her fellowship in 2015, Dr. Nazem joined the Rocky Mountain MIRECC staff as a Clinical/Research Psychologist.
- Dr. Nazem’s primary research interests are focused on the identification of underlying processes associated with the acquired capability to enact lethal self-injury. Additionally, Dr. Nazem also has a secondary interest in examining the association between sleep disorders and suicide risk. Previously, Dr. Nazem has conducted research in chronic pain and incarcerated populations. In addition to her research, Dr. Nazem is also a member of the Rocky Mountain MIRECC Suicide Prevention Consultation Service. She serves on both the Denver Internship Training Committee and the MIRECC Post-Doctoral Training Committee where she supervises and mentors interns and fellows. Dr. Nazem also holds an academic appointment with the Departments of Psychiatry and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She currently serves as a research cohort mentor for the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residents.
- Year of Licensure: 2015
- Clinical and Research Interests: Suicide risk assessment and consultation; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; Geropsychology; Acquired capability of suicide; Behavioral assessment of suicide; Sleep and suicide
- Statement about Research Program: Dr. Nazem’s research program has focused on the identification of risk factors for suicidal behavior, with a specific emphasis on factors associated with the acquired capability to enact lethal self-injury. Most recently, Dr. Nazem has developed a new set of suicide-specific stimuli (Self-Directed Violence Picture System: SDVPS) that will serve as a new tool by which researchers can begin to gather additional empirical evidence on the construct of fearlessness about death and dying. Future projects include the development of experimental paradigms to assess objective measurements of suicide risk and examining the role of suicidal imagery in fearlessness about death and dying. In addition to investigating underlying mechanisms of suicide risk associated with the development of fearlessness about death and dying, Dr. Nazem has a secondary interest in the association between sleep disorders and suicide risk.
- Available Project(s) for Fellows: Dr. Nazem recently completed the first validation study of the SDVPS. Possible projects using this data set include the following: analysis of physiological data obtained during SDVPS task; examining the association between various behavioral indices of suicide risk (e.g., Death/Suicide IAT, Suicide Stroop) and the SDVPS data; exploring the association between various suicide risk factors and fearlessness about death/self-directed violence history. Additionally, fellows would be invited to extend the validation of the SDVPS to selected samples at risk for self-directed violence (e.g., recent suicide attempters).
- 2016/2017 Fellowship Faculty Projects video:
Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention: Sleeping Well as an Upstream Approach to Suicide Prevention
14 December 2016
Could improved sleep potentially help prevent individuals from developing suicidal thoughts or behaviors sometime in the future? Rocky Mountain MIRECC Psychologist Sarra Nazem talks with Adam about her clinical work and research into evidence-based insomnia treatments as it relates to decreasing suicide risk. This topic is particularly relevant for providers working with Veterans and military, who experience sleep disturbances at increasingly high levels in the past decade. The good news: though insomnia is highly prevalent among Vets and military, it is also highly treatable. EB interventions such as SHUTi (Sleep Health Using the Internet) capitalize on a combination of high effectiveness and wide accessibility. Join Sarra and Adam as they discuss improving sleep as a way to increase hopefulness, and improve outcomes for other co-morbid conditions.
- Learn more about Dr. Nazem and her work
- The Sleep Healthy Using the Internet Webpage describes SHUT-I and provides information on the research behind the application.
- Learn and download the T2 Health mobile phone app CBT-i Coach
- Watch the HSR&D cyber seminar “The Relationship of Sleep Disturbance to Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors: An Opportunity for Intervention” by Wilfred Pigeon, PhD, for more information on insomnia, depressive symptomology, and suicide risk.
The podcast is approximately 25 minutes long.
You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcasts tool.
Categories: Suicide Prevention, Sleep
Nazem S, Forster JE, Brenner LA. Initial Validation of the Self-Directed Violence Picture System (SDVPS). Psychol Assess. 2017 Feb 16. doi: 10.1037/pas0000448. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28206783.
Nazem, S. (2015). Review of relational suicide assessment: Risks, resources, and possibilities for safety. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 21, 396-397.
Gerolimatos, L. A., Ciliberti, C. M., Gregg, J. J., Nazem, S., Bamonti, P. M., Cavanagh, C. E., & Edelstein, B. A. (in press). Development and preliminary evaluation of the anxiety in cognitive impairment and dementia (ACID) scales. International Psychogeriatrics.
Vanderploeg, R. D., Nazem, S., Brenner, L. A., Belanger, H. G., Donnell, A. J., & Scott, S. G. (in press). Suicidal ideation among Florida National Guard Members: Combat deployment and non-deployment risk and protective factors. Archives of Suicide Research.
Nazem, S., Lonnquist, E., Monteith, L. L., & Brenner, L. A. (2014). Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as risk factors for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In T. Hudzik & K. Cannon (Eds.), Suicide: Phenomenology and Biology.
Nadorff, M. R., Salem, T., Winer, E. S., Lamis, D. A., Nazem, S., & Berman, M. E. (2014). Explaining alcohol use and suicide risk: A moderated mediation involving insomnia symptoms and gender. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 10, 1317-1323.
Nazem, S., Spitzer, E. G., Brenner, L. A., & Bahraini, N. H. (2014). Beyond categorical classifications: The importance of identifying post-trauma symptom trajectories and associated negative outcomes. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 75, e947-e949.
Nadorff, M. R., Anestis, M. D., Nazem, S., Harris, H. C., & Winer, E. S. (2014). Sleep disorders and the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide: Independent pathways to suicidality? Journal of Affective Disorders, 152-154, 505-512.
Nadorff, M., Nazem, S., & Fiske, A. (2013). Insomnia symptoms, nightmares and suicide risk: Duration of sleep disturbance matters. Journal of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 43, 139-149.
Friedlander, A., Nazem, S., Fiske, A., Nadorff, M., & Smith, M. (2012). Self-concealment and suicidal behaviors. Journal of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 42, 332-340.
Nadorff, M., Nazem, S., & Fiske, A. (2010). Insomnia symptoms, nightmares, and suicidal ideation in a college student sample. Sleep, 34, 93-98.
Weintraub, D., Mavandadi, S., Mamikonyan, E., Siderowf, A., Duda, J., Hurtig, H. H., Colcher, A., Horn, S., Nazem, S., Ten Have, T., & Stern, M. B. (2010). Atomoxetine for the treatment of depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms in Parkinson’s disease: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Neurology, 75, 448-455.
Hoops, S., Nazem, S., Siderowf, A., Duda, J., Xie, S., Stern, M., & et al. (2009). Validity of the MoCA and MMSE in the detection of MCI and dementia in Parkinson’s disease. Neurology, 73, 1738-1745.
Mavandadi, S., Nazem, S., Ten Have, T., Siderowf, A., Duda, J., Stern, M. B., & et al. (2009). Use of latent variable modeling to delineate psychiatric and cognitive profiles in Parkinson’s disease without global cognitive impairment. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 17, 986-995.
Nazem, S., Siderowf, A. D., Duda, J. E., Ten Have, T., Colcher, A., Horn, S., & et al. (2009). Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA) performance in Parkinson’s disease patients with “intact” global cognition. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 57, 304-308.
Nazem, S., Siderowf, A. D., Duda, J. E., Brown, G. K., Ten Have, T., Stern, M. B., & et al. (2008). Suicidal and death ideation in Parkinson's disease. Movement Disorders, 23, 1573-1579.