October 09, 2021
Penn Medicine announced plans to use a $14 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to open a suicide prevention research center.
The center will be called INSPIRE to stand for innovation in suicide prevention and implementation research, and would focus on creating resources for communities that are disproportionately impacted by suicide, like Black, Hispanic and LGBT communities.
The NIH awarded Penn Medicine $14 million over the next five years to develop the Penn INSPIRE center.
It will combine psychiatry, implementation science, health economics, machine learning, and other interdisciplinary research experts to apply innovative approaches to suicide prevention.
They will test and develop strategies on site for a range of practice situations, using things like tele-health and follow-up services in an emergency situation.
Maria Oquendo, chair of Psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine, and Gregory Brown, associate professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry and director of the Penn Center for the Prevention of Suicide, will lead the center.
“This grant allows us to further drive much-needed suicide research for underserved groups. Not only will we develop and adapt researched-based suicide prevention interventions for underserved groups, but we’ll focus on testing ways to optimize how these evidence-based practices can be brought to scale efficiently,” Oquendo said.
The center will support 10 pilot projects and a "Methods Core" to advance research in suicide prevention and implementation science.
“INSPIRE is poised to transform suicide prevention," Brown said. "By driving interdisciplinary, cross-sector collaborations and through advancing suicide prevention research, care, and policy, we hope to develop cost-effective, practical, and efficient ways to implement much-needed suicide prevention interventions."
The school will also form a Suicide Prevention Scholars Program to boost research and engage new faculty.