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With a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, 2 Texas Tech psychology researchers are leading an effort to find out precursors to suicide attempts.

Sarah Victor, assistant professor of clinical psychology in the Department of Psychological Sciences is the principal investigator on a project titled "Dynamic Regulator Processes in the Transition from Suicidal Ideation to Action: The Roles of Cognitive Control, Emotion-Related Impulsivity, and Sleep in the Context of Negative Affective Experiences."

Jason Van Allen, associate professor of clinical psychology and director of clinical training at TTU and Sheri Johnson at the University of California-Berkeley are also involved in the research.

Victor says:

Suicide is a devastating personal and social problem that impacts individuals, families and communities [...] Although suicide rates have decreased worldwide, U.S. suicide deaths have continued to rise in the past decade, particularly in rural areas. The risk of suicide is especially high in the weeks and months after someone leaves inpatient psychiatric treatment, particularly for people who were hospitalized because of suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

This study will be following 130 suicidal adults receiving treatment at Covenant Health in Lubbock. Researchers will have the participants complete a web-based task that will measure how quickly and accurately a person can stop themselves from doing something and whether or not it differs if the emotional context is negative or positive.

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